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Drought-weary Mudug villagers get their first well

File photo/Ergo

Residents of a drought-hit village in central Somalia’s Mudug region are enjoying access to clean, free water for the first time after the drilling of a new solar-powered well.

Kin Jam’a Warsame, who migrated to Farhan a year ago after her family lost 150 goats to the drought in their village, was among the first to draw water from the well on 20 October.

The village, with a population of 150 families, has seven water reservoirs that have been dry since last ‘gu season, as the current deyr rains have not arrived.  According to Kin, when there was no water they had to pay 9,000 Somali shillings for 20 litres of water bought from tankers.

“Sometimes the water was greenish in colour after being in the reservoirs for a long time and at other times the water got finished quickly, so you could not rely on it,” she said.

The well was drilled by Zamzam Foundation, a Puntland-based NGO, after an engineering survey. Mahad Moahamed Abdi, an official at Harfo local government, said they collaborated over the project with the NGO and the village authorities.

Yasin Mohamud Ahmed, who lives in a village three kilometres away, welcomed the new well.

“We fetch water from there and take our livestock to drink from the well – and the water is free!” he said

Yasin said during dry seasons people in Farhan and nearby village had to pool their money to bring in a water tank with a fifty-barrel capacity costing $70.

Sahro Moalim Mohamed, chief of Farhan, said 60 of the 150 families living in the village migrated from remote areas after losing their livestock to successive droughts.

“The well is not private, it is communal, and I hope the locals will use it responsibly. The main problem of the village was how to get water but this has now been solved,” she said.

Source: Radio Ergo

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