ADRA Diversifies Household Diets in Somaliland
SILVER SPRING, Md. – As a result of drought, Somalia is experiencing a wave of change in the diversity of menus that families are having on their tables. What most Somalis would have easily dismissed as fodder for their livestock is now finding its way comfortably to the dinner table. Some may think that those doing this are at a loss on their rich pastoralist menu that has been decimated by drought, but this is not the case. Families in the Awdal region discovered what it means to diversify their diets with produce from greenhouses established by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency’s (ADRA) Emergency Water and Livelihood Support Program (EWLSP).
The EWLSP project was implemented by ADRA with funding from USAID/OFDA in the Awdal and Gebiley regions of Somaliland. This greenhouse initiative has witnessed hundreds of women from various women empowerment and farmer-groups embark on a journey that has not only unified them, but also equipped them with the skills and knowledge to provide and sustain the livelihoods of their families. The greenhouses, established by ADRA, are now managed and tended by the women-farmer groups, who have ownership of the produce yielded in the greenhouses. Should you visit one of the greenhouses, you will notice that the women are very enthusiastic to tend to the variety of plants in their gardens, especially with the immense support from the skilled staff at ADRA.
Plants harvested range from spinach, kale, okra, cowpeas, green grams, brinjals (eggplant), pepper, capsicum, tomatoes, onions, pawpaw (soursop), lime and many more. The women devote their time to what they have so passionately embraced, that other women groups are now following their example and establishing similar ventures on their own. Women participating in these groups have received training on how to prepare meals from the vegetables in their kitchen gardens, in addition to sell the surplus items for extra income.
These are only a few examples of the several women groups in the Awdal region that have benefited from ADRA’s EWLSP’s initiative. Because of this program, several hundreds of women are now improving their livelihoods with a more diverse diet and steady income from the ADRA-established greenhouses.
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