International Blue Crescent (IBC) with the help of funding from Penny Appeal is currently providing immediate access to safe drinking water through 10 Non-Elevated Water Well and Solar Grid interventions in the worst-affected areas of Jubbaland regions. Rehabilitation and construction of strategic water infrastructure is ongoing. The work is expected to finish in March, 2018. To improve water availability in the region, IBC and Penny Appeal have made several efforts such as the construction of 10 Semi-Elevated water tanks fitted with Solar Powered Water Wells and digging 18 hand-dug shallow wells. International Blue Crescent and Penny Appeal is focusing these interventions on rural populations at risk of loss of livelihoods, destitution and displacement due to the drought as well as those newly displaced by the drought. International Blue Crescent and Penny Appeal prioritize IDPs, Returnees and Host Communities with particular attention to special need groups who may be more vulnerable such as child or female headed households with no income, people living with disabilities, older people, pregnant and lactating women and households with children under 5. The risk of acute shortage of water, and water related diseases is expected to be reduced through the provision of and access to safe drinking water to drought-affected people in Jubbaland.
The capacity of the storage water tanks is 10m³ minimum. A pump pulls minimum 10m3 of water per day. It is operated by solar power without batteries with automatic switch on/off controller, and with a level switch at destination storage and dry run protection.
IBC have liaised with Jubbaland State of Somalia’s Ministry of Mineral and Water Resources. The ministry offered us the permission to rehabilitate 10 existing wells in Jubbaland. We, International Blue Crescent, and the Ministry of Mineral and Water Resources have identified the sites for the 10 wells. Kismayo town is endowed with underground water but there is only one area where the water is portable. That area is called DALXIISKA. The wells in other areas are salty and are not suitable for drinking. We negotiated with good Samaritans and the community and signed documents that these wells would be used by the general public including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Host Communities. Dalxiiska area is also where there is high concentration of IDPs and Returnees from refugee camps in Kenya.
The construction work for the water tanks has already begun. We have already constructed 10 water tanks and we are expecting to be through in the month of March for all the 10 water tanks and the solar system installation. The water tanks are made of reinforced concrete and they are supposed to last for so many years to come.
Failure of the long rains and the subsequent prolonged droughts have resulted in reduced water table of the entire Somalia and thus increased the operation of water sources especially shallow wells. The biting drought has left most water sources and reserves dry and further compromised livelihood options that are heavily rain dependent. Double constrains from the Returnees from Dadaab refugee camps have increased the need for water. The situation has been occasioned by the continued pressure on the diminishing resources especially considering the influx of returnees (from Kenya and Yemen) and internal displaced persons (I.D.P) in Jubbaland State of Somalia. Dilapidated and broken-down WASH systems contributed to the limited and/or unsustainable access to water leaving the already vulnerable communities at the brink of survival. Women and girls were burdened and left exposed to high risks associated with walking to distant water points and waiting to collect water posing a risk of gender-based violence and especially rape as they are mostly alone in the journey. Equally school going girls are sometimes forced to miss classes in order to collect water.