Ubah Wardi, 24, is a mother three children and one of the residents in the small rural village of Kudunbur in Goglo district in Somali region. MrsUbah’s family, like other residents in the village, depends on rainwater for their water needs due to absence of groundwater in the area. Rainfall has been decreasing dramatically for last three decades with shortened rainy period. Even the little rainwater dries quickly because of the nature of the soil in the area and lack catchment area. Worsened that situation is lack of capacity of the locals to construct storage facility to collect rainwater when it rains and use dry the long dry seasons. The chronic water shortage used to force families to migrate to other areas while the remaining families struggled to survive without water in the harsh environment. To save lives, humanitarian organizations like OWDA (through Arche noVa), Save the Children, Oxfam GB and others used to provide water in the dry season through water trucking which was not durable solution.
Answer to Mrs Ubah’s needs came when OWDA with funding from GFO, through Ache NoVa, started emergency WASH project in the area which constructed one new cistern (Birka) and rehabilitated two other non-functioning Birkas in Kudunbur which have together capacity of 800M3. Thanks to these Birkas Mrs. Wardi and other 1,350 residents in the village have access to clean water in the dry season.
“We have now access to clean and safe water, our children are no longer getting sick. We used – as women – used to travel in long distance searching for water, now we have the water close by. The Birka saves our time which allow to give enough time to other house hold chores” said Mrs. Ubah
Mrs. Ubah is one of thousands of pastoralist in Somali region who have benefited from emergency WASH projects that OWDA, in partnership with Arche noVa, implemented in Korahe and Shabele zones in Somali region.