Background

Wadaagsin Road will the longest feeder roads in Puntland, Somalia starting from Galdogob close to the Ethiopian border ending at the Indian Ocean at the city of Gara’ad. The new road will follow old caravan routes or old feeder roads that extended well over 300 KM, connecting the towns of Galkayo and Eyl in Mudug and Nugal region respectively. The road goes through multiple villages and towns between its ends, and this includes Jariiban town.

The communities in this area are isolated from markets and services because of poor road access. The cost of transport is high, increasing the cost of food and other basic household needs, while the cost for households to transport their livestock or products to markets is high, making it difficult to generate an income. It is also difficult to reach health and education services

The sick, elderly and pregnant women, are particularly affected by the adverse condition of this road. The vehicles using this road constantly need maintenance, which leads to higher transportation cost.  There is, therefore an urgent need to rehabilitate feeder roads to markets in this area.

Access to market in this area is very limited. Goods and services are available at higher prices. The Wadaagsin communities, whose livelihood mainly depends on livestock production, are unable to market their produce due to the remoteness and the general inaccessibility of this area.

The area suffered neglect under the previous Somali governments before the civil war. In fact, it was part of a region called Gaariwaa (the unreachable) causing a general retard. After, the collapse of the central government and the prolonged civil war period that followed, the conditions of physical structures everywhere further deteriorated. The long absence of effective central government induced communities to step in and deal with many of the services previously relied on the government.

The Wadaagsin community in Jariiban district first started organizing themselves in the year 2000, to raise funds from the community members and their kinships abroad for the rehabilitation of the road between the town of Jarriban and the coastal town of Garacad. In this regard the community rehabilitated 60 km of road.

It took nearly 10 years and lots of resources to complete this distance which tremendously reduced the travel time and provided increased comfort for road users.  Most of the funds came from the local and the Diaspora communities from Mudug region, although some contributions were received from Puntland administration.

Most recently, there has been a road repair activities on Wadaagsin road between Galkayo and Jariiban. In 2011, youth members from Galkayo organized themselves to repair 3km between the villages of Godod and Gacnafale on self-help basis.  The following year, in 2012 a local NGO named Daryel rehabilitated 20kms between Godod-Gacnafale and 16 kms between Guuco-Ballibusle through food for asset (FFA) project received from WFP.

In addition, a rehabilitation of 16 kms between Balibusle and Jariiban is currently underway. This part is implemented by DAI through funds received from USAID under anti-piracy budget.

Efforts to continue repair work of the road gained momentum after Daryel/WFP project results and benefits were realized.  After the completion of the project Daryel mobilized the local community to continue the repair work. A special road repair committee was setup by the community and started receiving contributions from the pastoralists in the form of in-kind livestock.

Godod and Gacnafale village communities celebrating at the end of the 20 KM road repair
Godod and Gacnafale village communities celebrating at the end of the 20 KM road repair

 

This 20 KM road rehabilitation  implemented by DARYEL using WFP food for work.

Mudug governor  (Right) on tour visiting communities of Godod and Gacnafale during road repair
Mudug Governor (Right) on tour visiting communities of Godod and Gacnafale during road repair

The Mudug regional governor spearheaded a media campaign and meetings to raise awareness for the road rehab efforts and this had a huge impact on the success of the project. Diaspora members were especially encouraged by the governor’s participation and appeal to contribute.

Balibusle village community organized discussions on road repiar with Mudug Governor and Daryel
Balibusle village community organized discussions on road repair with Mudug Governor and Daryel

Livelihood Outcomes expected to achieve upon completion of the road rehabilitation:

  • Increased well-being
  • Reduced vulnerability
  • Improved food security
  • Future sustainability due to increased sense of community ownership 

The road rehabilitation will increase the overall community well-being. Some of the measurable benefits to the community include a great improvement of mobility, better access to markets and basic services. The travel time on this vital road will be considerably reduced by the repair work and this will be a live-saving for the sick requiring a faster and emergency access to health care. Better access to markets and services will generally improve food-security in the area, and will strengthen the community’s ability to withstand future shocks and reduce vulnerability.

Conclusion:

The Wadaagsin community demonstrated the will to rehabilitate a vital public infrastructure, however the community understandably lacks the resources and expertise needed to undertake such a project. The community expects that its readiness to rehabilitate this feeder road with its  own limited resources to encourage donors and government to contribute to the effort.

Figure 5: Figure 6 massive rocks in the middle of Balibusle-Guuco road before repair

Tough rocks and boulders between Balibusle and Guuco stretch
Tough rocks and boulders between Balibusle and Guuco stretch

Smoothen rocks and boulders between Balibusle and Guuco stretch

Smoothen rocks and boulders between Balibusle and Guuco stretch 

Gododn to Gacnafale stretch before repair

Godod to Gacnafale stretch before repair

Godod to Gacnafale stretch after repair

Godod to Gacnafale stretch after repair