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Impoverished IDPs in Kismayo make good living from fisheries

Monday April 5, 2021

File Photo/Ergo

(ERGO) – Fadumo Mohamed Omar has managed to move her family of 12 out of their shack in Aalanley internal displacement camp into a rented house in town from the proceeds of the thriving fisheries business she set up with two other displaced women.

Fadumo was among 72 displaced and impoverished families in the southern Somali coastal city of Kismayo to receive fishing equipment in 2020.  Thanks to the investment and the women’s hard work, she is now making around $25 profit a day from fish sales.

“I used to have to buy food every day for the family, but now I buy it wholesale once a month. I also pay the $75 house rent without any problems,” Fadumo said.  She also enrolled six of her children in a local school, paying fees of $42 a month.  “I save some of my earnings for the school fees. Sometimes I even pay the school fees before the end of the month.”

Fadumo received a solar-powered refrigerator and a van that she shares with her two female business partners. They sell fish worth $300 a day using the refrigerated van.  Out of this, $18 pays the driver and assistant and fuel.

Fadumo and her two partners keep $45 to divide equally among them, after putting back $237 into their joint business. Fadumo also earns $10 profit from her own table selling fish in the market.

“The refrigerated van has helped our business a lot. We now transport and sell our fish to villages far away from the market,” she said.

Fadumo migrated to Kismayo with her family from Jamame in Lower Juba region after the 2016 drought ruined their farm. The miserable camp life forced her to try her hand at business and in 2017 she started taking fish on credit to sell inside the camp, earning at most $3 a day.

Jubbaland ministry of fisheries and marine resources distributed the first fisheries equipment to 56 internally displaced and 16 destitute local families in August 2020. The ministry was supported by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the German aid agency, GIZ. Earlier this year, they distributed refrigerated vans and solar-powered fridges in two batches.

Mohamed Ahmed, an advisor at the ministry, told Radio Ergo the initiative aimed to improve the livelihoods of the IDP families. He noted that 48 of the families received boats, while the remaining 24 were given a fridge each as well as eight refrigerated cars shared in groups of three.

“Our main target for the distribution were the IDP families near Aalanley beach. Most of them earned a living fishing in the river and we thought they would do better fishing in the sea,” Ahmed said.

Mohamed Nur Mohamed, a father of six children, managed to move his family out of Sanguni camp to a two-roomed rental house, after receiving a refrigerated fishing boat in September 2020.

Mohamed and his three partners make around $70 a day from the boat, which they share among themselves.

“I am saving some of the money to sustain the family during the poor weather season,” he said.

He too enrolled four of his children in a local school and pays $28 a month in school fees.

Mohamed’s family migrated from Bulla Haji village, west of Kismayo, after they lost their 45 goats and 15 cows in the 2017 drought.


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