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Water brings new opportunities for Fatima

Before 2017, the nearest water point for the residents of Gargoorey was Xaliimaale, which was an arduous journey of eight hours to and from. Named after the Gargoorka, a whitish grass good for livestock, Gargoorey is known for big trees and green hills. It is a predominantly pastoral area, but now has small-scale commercial farms after the introduction of the Gargoorey Water Supply Project implemented by the Ministry of Water Resource Development in 2017 and funded under the first phase of the Somaliland Development Fund.

Fatima Ahmed, 56 year, who lives near one of the kiosks built in Gargoorey recalls the long treks before the water project was implemented. “We used to get up at 2 am at night and travel to Xaliimaale to collect water. With no lights and torches, we undertook this dangerous trip that could cost our lives. I remember one night; a hyena attacked us and ate one of our donkeys. We used to return home late in the morning or even noon without eating since last night. To bathe fully, we used to wait for the rainy seasons,”  Fatima adds.

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The Gargoorey Water Supply Project included the construction of a 50mwater reservoir, connected through 2.5 km of pipelines to 4 water kiosks, the construction of four animal troughs, an accommodation center, and a generator and solar system to run the supply system.

Fatima believes that women over the last four years have been in a better position than during her time as water is brought around their premises.

Axado, 32, is Fatima’s neighbor and moved here three years ago. She has been able to get water at any time of the day which broadens her options as her family can bathe and wash when they want.

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Ibrahim, 50, returned to his village last year and was among the increasing number of people who are establishing commercial farms in Gargoorey.

"Life has flourished in Gargoorey since we got water. The communities here are now evolving to agro-pastoral communities,” Ibrahim explained, expressing his feelings about how life is evolving in Gargoorey. Ibrahim is now planning to expand his farm. He harvested the cash crops and has now added mango, papaya and banana to his list of plantations. “I provide onions, tomatoes, potatoes, chilies and other important vegetables and crops to the people of Gargoorey. Before they had to go as far as the nearest village, Boon, 17 km south of the village, by foot,” says Ibrahim.

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Ilyas Nur, who is in charge of the water point, explained: “We allow the people and animals to use the kiosk in the morning and farms in the afternoon”.

Since the number of people settling around Gargoorey and commercial farms being established are on the rise, the village management are campaigning for building another water tank dedicated for irrigation of farms while the old reservoir will be left for human and animal consumption.

*The Gargoorey Water Project was funded under the first phase of the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF). It has since provided water to the communities and livestock in and near Gargoorey village. The water supply system has also assisted members of the community in establishing small commercial farms, which have already benefited them.