Archives February 2018


OWDA’s FGM Experience at the Proceedings of the National FGM Network Annual Experience Sharing Workshop

Established in 1999 with its head office in Jijiga, OWDA works in Jijiga, Warder, korahay, Gode, Afder and Liben zones in various integrated thematic program engagements. These include rural water supply, education, health, environmental rehabilitation and protection, pastoral community capacity building, water and sanitation, destitute children and women support, emergency relief, and fighting harmful traditional practices such as FGM.

OWDA recently launched a five years project on Improving Reproductive Health (RH) and economic condition of women and girls in partnership with NCA. The project targets Jijiga, Gode, Adadale and Denan woredas including more than 24 kebeles. The project mainly focuses on information dissemination and change of perception and behavior and works in close collaboration with local Government and non-governmental bodies.
Approaches: Using religious and traditional leaders as agents of change, conduct community dialogues (as Somalis are oral community), using media (local FM radio and Somali regional ESTV), using men as agent of change, and support FGM victims.

Success stories: OWDA involved prominent religious and intellectual persons who have written books on RH especially FGM to address the Sunna issue, and they have sensitized attendants that there is no level of cutting of clitoris. Formation of young male volunteers against FGM, incorporating RH in health education in OWDA’s Denan health centre, integrating the issues of RH and FGM in schools run by OWDA, Religious leaders who are opposing FGM including Sunna and are increasing in number and getting momentum, FGM related information is widely available, Anti FGM messages were broadcasted via Radio FANA Somali language section, and Regional mass media like Somali FM and ESTV were used to disseminate FGM related information.



  • FGM is a deeply rooted traditional practice
  • Religious leaders have different opinions about FGM,
  • Shift from infibulations to Sunna type of FGM
  • Project sites such as Gode are prone to disasters and communities have other priorities like food and water, and logistics problems.

In order to address these challenges OWDA plans to focus on a campaign on religious and traditional leaders, conduct FGM along side with development activities, and breaking the silence on the Sunna issue.

Ardo is an infibulations type FGM victim who lives in Burkayar, 22km away from Denan. As her family was poor she used to support the family financially by opening a teashop at the age of 18. Her business was flourishing when she secretly married one of her customers, who was a truck driver, which is contrary to the local traditional norms.
She spent a night with him and she got pregnant and unfortunately her husband disappeared after that night. As marrying secretly is a taboo in some rural areas she preferred not to tell her plight to anybody. She endured a painful and long labor for two days and two nights and she ended up with fistula. After leading a very miserable life with fistula one day she visited Denan clinic for medication after she participated in one of community dialogues organized by OWDA.
As the clinic is run by OWDA she was taken to Addis Ababa fistula Hospital. After Thirteen days of care and treatment she returned to her home. She is now an active anti-FGM campaigner and pledged her future to save children from this curse. Ardo is now on her first days of new life as she is on her honeymoon.

Updates on the Current Humanitarian Situation and the Emergency Response Plan

In a meeting held in Jijiga on 11 February 2010 to discuss the current humanitarian situation, the regional Disaster Prevention and preparedness Bureau  updated the meeting participants as follows:
Weather Condition
Unusual rain is currently falling in certain parts of the Somali region.Localities that have received medium amount of rain include:

Fik Zone (Fik, Sagag and Mayomuluko), Dagahbour (Ararso area. On the other hand, certain areas in Jijiga (Jijiga, Babile, Gursum, and Kebribeyah) and parts of Shinille Zone (Mieso, Aisaha, Erer and Shinille) have received better rain than Dyer receiving areas where the current rain is observed.  Although the current rain is observed in the above localities, its impact on pasture and the availability of water is insignificant. The current rain is locally known as “Lih – Kor “. It means short rain received after the sixth day of the last month of the “Jilal” period.  In this regard, local elders believe that fair distribution of rain observed during the “Lih – Kor” period forecasts that the next Gu rain to follow will be good.

Although the last Dyer rains were good in certain areas of the Somali region, there were areas with critical water shortages.  Water tankering operations have been ongoing in certain areas during the last four months. Some of these areas include Aisha, Galadi, Warder, Harshin, and Guredamole.  There are other areas such as Sagag, Garbo, Hamero, Duhun, Fik, Mayomuluko and Salahad, Gunegedo, Degehmedow, Afdem, Shinille districts of Shinille zone, Gure baqaqsa of Afder zone where water trucking operations have been ongoing between January and February 2010 through the DPPB,  ACPA and OWDA.

There are other districts still facing severe water shortage where water delivery needs to be initiated as quickly as possible. These areas include Barey, Hargelle, Dolobay, Doloado, Shilabo, and part of Kebridehar, Danan, and Aware, part of Gashamo, Danot, Dobewain, Filtu and Hudet.

Availability of pasture has diminished because of the dry (Jilal) season and over grazing in areas that received good Dyer rains.  Areas with critical shortage of pasture include Shinille, Fik, Afder, Warder, Degehbour, Liban Zones and part of Gode.

Some pastoralists are migrating with their livestock to the areas with better pasture. For instance, pastoralists in Shinille Zone have migrated to Jigjiga, highland areas of Oromiya, Awash River basin of Afar region.  The movement of pastoralists to Oromiya and Afar regions might result in conflict with the locals because of limited resources of water and pasture. Pastoralists from Adadle and some part Gode have also migrated to Somalia and from Degehbour and Fik zone to Fafen and Dakhato Valleys of Jijiga Zone. It is also reported that pastoralists from Degehbour, Korahe and Warder Zones have also migrated to Somaliland in search of pasture.
Livestock condition

The condition of livestock is deteriorating because of the dry season and prolonged drought in some areas. Cattle are the most affected. No outbreak of livestock disease was reported except in Aisha where unknown disease is reported to have affected shoat.  Similarly, death of camel and shoat is reported in Warder District because of unknown livestock disease.
Food Security

The availability of milk in the local market is decreasing with serious impact on the nutritional status of children and the aged. The price of livestock is also declining coupled with the high price increase in staple food. The price of staple food is increasing mainly in areas where WFP has temporarily suspended food deliveries and distribution.
In terms of the regional emergency responses The regional DPPB indicated that some Some 694,400 persons located in 44 Weredas of Afder, Degehbour, Fik, Gode, Jijiga, Korahe, Liban, Shinille and Warder Zones need urgent water delivery through tankering operations for a period of two months until the next Gu rains fall.
In order to conduct a water tanking emergency the regional DPPB estimated that 107 tankers are needed and most of these tankers will be made available by the region even though there will a gap of 57 tankers and requested the Aid agencies to try to fill this gap.

Many of the Aid agencies participated in the meeting expressed their willingness to participate in the emergency and OWDA on its part expressed its intention to provide one water tanker to provide water to Denan district of Gode.
In line with the water trucking there is many other emergency interventions like WASH Intervention, Agriculture/Livestock  Emergency Intervention, Food and Non – Food Items and Health/Nutrition Expected to be

OWDA’S Water tankering updates

Organization Welfare and Development in Action (OWDA) is currently conducting water tankering emergency interventions in three different districts of the Somali region where was highly affected by the recent drought. These districts are Bokh, Galadi and Hershin.

The report compiled by our field staff pertaining to these water tankering activities stipulated that OWDA has conducted water tankering activity in last forty days to an estimate population of 52,013 according to the Districts’ Disaster prevention and preparedness officers.

The road infrastructures of these districts are very poor and moreover the nearest water sources of some of the kebeles are quite very far from the beneficiaries, a reason somewhat complicated the smooth running of the intervention even though the organization is sparing no effort to continuously provide the services uninterrupted.

Founder of the Denan Project Enjoys Hero’s Welcome in Denan

The founder of the Denan project Dick Young enjoyed a hero’s welcome in Denan as he was conducting a supervision mission in the Denan District. The community considered the visit as way of revitalizing the project after a serious setback caused by the burning of mobile team vehicle.

On January 14, 2010 delegates from Denan project and OWDA visited Denan to monitor, know the status of the project clearly and share project plans with the target community. The team was affectionately welcomed by the project beneficiaries to an extent whereby the Denan project president Dick Young and his deputy Jarret were lifted up. Moreover, some of the community were singing and dancing for the team. This warm welcome indicates the achievements of the project and the positive impact the project had to the community.
The project is targeting Denan Woreda of Gode Zone which is located 70km north-east of Gode town. The project has integrated development components which have diverse sections those are aimed at improving the livelihood of the target area. The project is funded by Denan project Inc based in USA and implemented by Ogaden Welfare & Development Association (OWDA). Initially the project was started with two clinic rooms and one Doctor but unbelievably within six years the project has all health elements needed from a health center and has more than forty staffs. The project had given the necessary treatments to more than seventy five thousand patients in six years. Likewise, the project was expanded from being limited to health activities and in Denan town but holistically incorporated with five more important components including the outreach program which was aimed at serving the unreached locations of Denan districts.

The project components are categorized into five holistic fingers these are provision of comprehensive primary health care, water development, education, cottage industry and agricultural development component.

OWDA Emergency Water Trucking

As some parts of the Somali region is seriously affected by shortage of water caused by the dry season OWDA is currently conducting water trucking project in three districts of Bok, Galadi and Harshin which were mostly affected by the drought after securing the fund from UNICEF after having consultation with the regional Disaster prevention and preparedness Bureau.