Shahido | Development and Peace


Shahido, from Somalia

‘‘Before, casual labor was our family’s main source of income. My eldest son did most of the work, but the income was barely enough to feed our family.

The new project will improve our livelihood. We’ll sell some of the vegetables to generate income and consume some to provide a good source of nutrients for the whole family.

Through this project, I believe I will be able to expand my business, feed my family, pay school fees for my children and gain knowledge on various methods of farming.’’

Shahido, 40, is the mother of three girls and seven boys. Nine years ago, she fled conflict and food shortages in her hometown of Wajid, in southwest Somalia. She currently lives in the Jazeera camp for internally displaced persons in the town of Luuq, Somalia. Her youngest daughter suffers from severe malnutrition and has been receiving care through the Trócaire nutrition program.

Empowering Somali women through sustainable agriculture

Food insecurity is becoming increasingly severe in Somalia because of an erratic 2020 rainy season, a locust infestation and the COVID-19. Fortunately, Shahido is well-prepared to face this triple threat, thanks to a food security project launched in April 2020. The project enabled her to save enough money to buy six goats, which she sold at a profit. She used the money to open a small kiosk where she sells drinks, sweets and other small items. Shahido also cultivates a 0.15-hectare lot, on which she has planted maize, parsley, spinach cowpeas and green pepper. She also plans to plant fruit trees such as pawpaw and banana, and other vegetables to diversify her production.

How our partner, Trócaire, is helping

With financial support from Development and Peace, Trócaire has leased 15 hectares of land in Luuq, Somalia. This land, along with the agricultural equipment, seeds and agroecology* and permaculture** training that Trócaire provides, has made it possible for 100 women to grow food to feed their families.

* Agroecology is he application of ecological principles to agricultural systems and practices.

** Permacultures are agricultural ecosystems designed to “work with nature” in a sustainable, self-sufficient manner.

The impact of COVID-19 and the role of Trócaire

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an exceptional challenge in Somalia because healthcare services, facilities and personnel are extremely scarce in many parts of the country. Having played a key role in healthcare in Somalia’s Gedo region since 1990, Trócaire is now helping reduce the threat of COVID-19 through appropriate identification, isolation and treatment of cases. With our support, Trócaire has created and equipped four isolation centers to receive and treat people COVID-19, so that their communities are protected. Volunteers are being trained to identify potential cases in camps for internally displaced persons and among host communities and to refer them to appropriate health care.