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Women in Somali region receive camels and land

Tuesday February 7, 2023

Camels headed to livestock market for sale/File Photo

(ERGO) – About 200 women pastoralists in the Somali Region of Ethiopia who lost their livestock to drought have been given camels and farmland to restart their lives and livelihoods.

Dahabo Hashi received four mature and four young camels on 16 January from the NGO, Pastoralists Concern, and is now herding them in Kunka village, 15 kilometres from Godey.

She is earning a living selling camel milk and uses the income to take care of her nine children.

“Camels bought for women and given to women is something that has never happened before!” Dahabo told Radio Ergo. “We are very happy that we have got our lives back.

This single mother used to keep 46 cows, but all of them died in the drought in 2019. Since then, she and children depended on their relatives. It is her first time to herd camels. She feels confident they will survive because they also have access to water and fodder.

Dahabo and 50 other women pastoralists have set up a cooperative and are sharing a 10-hectare farm with grazing for the livestock. They also received generators from the aid organisation and can easily access water from the Shabelle river.

“Since we have the camels, fodder and generators to get water, and we keep the camels within the closed area, we have everything we need and we are able to take care of our livestock,” she said.

Dahabo has also started farming, having received watermelon, maize and onion seeds as well as ploughing tools from the aid organisation.

Another female head of household, Halimo Mohamed Guled in Godirey, eight kilometres from Godey, also received eight camels.

She sells some of milk from her camels and keeps some for her children. She earns $4-5 a day and is able to provide for her seven children.

“We are now getting an income and we can afford to buy clothes and pay the children’s school fees. Our lives have changed and we have been doing better with the livestock,” she said.

Overwhelmed by the gift of camels, Halimo has been occupied with rearing the animals and has delayed starting farming until next month.

The head of Pastoralists Concern in Shabelle zone, Bashir Arbe Ahmed, noted that the 200 women were divided into four cooperatives, each one given a 10-hectare farm to grow livestock fodder and other crops.

He said they hope to create more opportunities for destitute single mothers. Godirey, Ilan, and Kunka in Shabelle zone

“We intended to show that women can do something for themselves. The other women at home should be inspired by these women and become proactive in changing their lives,” he said.


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