Mogadishu — The World Bank authorized a $70 million International Development Association (IDA*) grant to increase resilient water, agriculture, and environmental products and services for rural communities in Somalia’s drylands. The Somalia Water for Rural Resilience Project named ‘Barwaaqo’ builds at the Biyoole mission and comes at a vital time when Somalia is dealing with an unheard of multi-season drought and worsening meals lack of confidence.

The Barwaaqo mission will extend products and services in Somaliland, Puntland, Galmudug, and the South West States whilst increasing to incorporate two further federal member states–Hirshabelle and Jubbaland–where the mission will focal point at the spaces positioned clear of the floodplains of the Shabelle and the Jubba rivers. This mission will supply water to 500,000 folks, representing roughly 15% of the agricultural inhabitants, who these days handiest have get entry to to restricted products and services and unimproved or floor water.

“The Barwaaqo project supports communities to build resilience and adapt to climate change by improving access to water resources in a dryland environment,” mentioned Kristina Svensson, World Bank Country Manager for Somalia.Increasing access to water will help improve human health and well-being, particularly in the face of the current drought.”

Environmental demanding situations, exacerbated by way of local weather alternate through the years, have contributed to degrading over 1 / 4 of Somalia’s territory, and coupled with deforestation and loss of soil, rural livelihoods are beneath danger. These demanding situations, together with droughts, additionally purpose pastoralists to lose their farm animals (their major supply of wealth and source of revenue) whilst farmers and agro-pastoralists lose their harvest (which is their major supply of meals). Given that pastoralism and agriculture are necessary to the economic system, land degradation ends up in aid in source of revenue and meals safety and impacts rural livelihoods, with an immediate knock-on impact at the city economic system. It is estimated that roughly 54% of Somalia’s population live in urban areas and a shift to urban hubs has increased pressure on existing water infrastructure. Scarce water sources will have to be shared between rural communities and rising city facilities.

“To increase the sustainability of investments, the Barwaaqo project will integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation measures which will support the strengthening of natural resources management. This includes water harvesting and storage, soil conservation, afforestation, and rangelands restoration around water points to slowly ‘green’ the drylands,” mentioned Chantal Richey, World Bank Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist.