Women at the forefront of camp improvement

Camp management and coordination can only be with its residents, and especially women. As more responsibility are given to camp residents, they develop a feeling of ownership. Thus, ACTED created Site Maintenance Committees (SMC), groups composed of residents, that are essential to community participation, accountability and well-being in Mooge-B camp. ACTED, supported by the Somalia Humanitarian Fund, is working since 2018 through Site Maintenance Committees (SMC) to improve camp infrastructures and management in Somalia. ACTED provides the SMCs with technical advice, daily labor wages and toolkits to address immediate needs while building the communities’ resilience.

Mooge-B camp is located in the outskirts of Somaliland’s biggest city, Hargeisa. The camp currently shelters 235 displaced Somali families . Amina, Hinda and Nura, three residents of the site, are part of the Site Maintenance Committee. Concerned with camp management and improvement, they take part in open discussions like fire issues and security system recently installed by ACTED, Amina, the vice-chairperson of the Site Maintenance Committee, is in charge of improving camp conditions, while Hinda is a committee member and Nura a community mobilizer. Every morning, the three women walk around the camp, careful to communal facilities that need to be repaired, garbage to be thrown and all needs that should be reported to ACTED. Despite the amount of problems and limited resources, Amina continues to work towards camp refinement, to make it more livable for its residents.

Nura (droite), Hinda (centre) and Amina (gauche) se tiennent devant le centre communautaire de Mooge-B à Hargeisa. Elles ont travaillé sans relâche à l'amélioration de l’apparence du camp et afin de le rendre habitable pour tous.

Women and girls in the camp feel free to come to us on a daily basis. If any facility requires repair, it is reported to us immediately. We have enough hardware material that ACTED provided to us. We get to action immediately and have it repaired. We engage skilled member of the committee to fix the problem and ACTED provides the cash for the work

Amina, vice-chairperson of the SMC

Fleeing in search of aid

Both regional droughts and ongoing conflicts forced families to flee their home, travelling hundreds of kilometers to finally find refuge in IDP camps around urban centres. These camps are made of makeshift houses peppered over land, with limited services and resources.

To ensure the overall wellbeing of displaced communities and lower safety issues and violence, the Site Maintenance Committee identifies risks within the camp, coordinates with other organisations operating in the camp and share feedback through ACTED’s community reporting channels. In response, ACTED installed solar street lights to ensure security in the camp when the sun goes down. In particular, these lights reduce gender-based violence risks for women and girls when they need to get out of their shelters at night, for example to reach the toilets. Through the communities’ efforts, conditions of communal facilities improved and safer environments were created for all, especially children and women living in the site.

Amina, vice-présidente du CMS, se tenant devant sa maison de fortune dans le camps Mooge-B

The displaced community is very thankful for these upgrades that facilitate the living conditions in the camp. The camp is now in better shape. We also feel proud to be part of the action to improve the general camp condition. We are very thankful when organisations listen to us first before they carry out any action here

Amina, Vice-chairperson of the SMC

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