This project supported the provision of shelter and basic services (in particular, adequate sanitary facilities and alternative water supply) to 344 of the neediest families in the cities of Garowe and Hargeisa. It had a special focus on members of vulnerable groups and families headed by women. The project, which started in mid-2005, was situated at the Ayaha resettlement area in Hargeisa and the Old Airport resettlement site in Garowe. Partners included the municipalities of Hargeisa and Garowe, local community groups, local and international NGOs, World Food Programme, and UNDP.
The project aimed to assist local authorities with the voluntary relocation of returnees and IDPs, providing them with security of tenure and appropriate shelter. A broad participatory process was initiated to identify suitable land for resettlement, based on criteria aiming at durable integration with the host community and the prevention of slum development. The resettlement discussion was used as an entry point to draft more integrated urban development plans, to be used as tools to guide urban growth. Appropriate low-cost housing was provided in suitable formal settlement areas, along with sanitary facilities and amenities to collect and store rainwater. The following specific activities were included:
- Training of returnees and IDPs in labour-intensive construction work and the production of local materials – well-managed building block production, stone quarrying and excavation, and the manufacture of other construction components (doors, windows, etc.).
- Providing job opportunities by establishing small-scale, community-based enterprises for the production of local building materials.
- Supplying and distributing materials that are not locally produced and cannot be acquired by the returnee and IDP communities.
- Providing construction tools and equipment, including protective gear.
- Enabling the community to produce low-cost housing that is affordable, appropriate, and socially acceptable, through community self-help techniques.
- Developing community settlement governance and management techniques to ensure the sustainability and maintenance of community facilities, utilities, housing units, and rainwater harvesting systems.
- Providing guidelines for the replication and institutionalization of successful elements and lessons learned.
About 2,700 returnees and displaced people, including 2,000 children and 400 women, were the direct beneficiaries of the low-cost housing units. These households also benefited from awareness raising and training in hygiene, sanitation, and rainwater harvesting.
Approximately 700 people received on-the-job training in construction, quarrying, and brick-making techniques; 80 community leaders were trained in community action planning; and 20 municipal staff in various departments (planning, land management, finance, engineering, sanitation, water, and public health) received on-the-job capacity building through active participation in the shelter projects. The entire IDP and returnee community in Hargeisa and Garowe indirectly benefited from this project, along with the urban residents in the vicinity of the improved resettlement areas, the local authorities, entrepreneurs in the construction sector, and the wider local business community. According to an impact survey in Hargeisa, about 400 people trained in construction skills managed to secure jobs in the local construction industry, thereby considerably improving the livelihoods of their families and the Ayaha community as a whole.