As a youth organization, Bareedo Platform marks International Youth Day each year on the 12th of August and celebrates the contribution that young people make in social and public matters in Somalia. In this year and third year in row, Bareedo is going to commemorate the #IYD2022 virtually and present to you a handful youth members who contributed to the society.
This is a great time to celebrate and appreciate some youth members who actively contributed to matters that important for the community and also become a role model for other peers to do same. In this moment, Bareedo is going to empower young people to participate in public life so that they are prepared and equipped to contribute to society’s development.
It’s time to celebrate International Youth Day!
For information on the theme of International Youth Day 2022 keep an eye on the Bareedo’s website and social media platforms for updates. You can also send more to our email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharmarke Yusuf is an International Rotary peace fellow, for his extensive experience in Peace and development and had 10-week session of field study in Makerere University at Rotary Peace Center for gaining knowledge through examine new approaches of peace building and conflict transformation, following by application of leadership skills.
The Peace fellow returned to Somalia in his community for implementation of social change through guidance and mentorship professionals in the field.
Yusuf’s social change initiatives will engage youth in his communities to empower them and transform as a positive force of transformation in their communities through communication and thinking skills (TOCfE) positive peace education, employability skills and community volunteer activities. Yusuf is using a theory of constrain to change negative behavior, the TOC theory is originated by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt (1947-2011)” he was an author and a business management guru. The theory of constrain is a set of thinking processes along with common sense methodologies used to logically identify and overcome key limitations in creating favorable change and that allows for youth to think critically and make positive, responsible decisions.
The initiates will be in class training, practical sessions followed by community volunteer activities where the young people integrate with their communities to carryout public and common good activities.
Bareedo Platform facilitated Right to information and protection of vulnerable groups – Remote training units for 34 journalists from different media outlets in Puntland, mainly those based in Garowe, the capital city of Puntland state in Somalia.
The 5-day training was conducted 34 (M: 21 F: 13) journalists, editors and other media personnel from key media outlets in Puntland, mainly those based in Garowe, the capital of Puntland in five different days from May 29, 2022 to June 11, 2022.
Trainers; a media training expert and a digital security expert delivered training sessions by using their own experiences and lessons and knowledge contents extracted from 5 videos previously recorded and shared by the School of Journalism of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy. And they covered the following topics or lessons during the five days training:-
Day 1 – Training Unit 1: Freedom of speech, human rights
Freedom of expression is an increasingly rare commodity.
Why it is necessary to defend it in the world and how it is possible to do so, considering the various national sensitivities.
National and international laws on freedom of expression and international charters.
The United Nations: origin, declarations, laws, agencies, advocacy activities.
International human rights laws: human rights defenders, agencies and NGOs for human rights defenders.
National legal frameworks demonstrating the freedom of information, freedom of speech, the freedom of media/press; looking at Puntland Media Act.
Day 2 – Training Unit 2: Freedom of the press, fighting censorship
How to practice journalism without running into the mesh of censorship and how to resist self-censorship.
Writing techniques for journalists, associations for the defence of information rights.
How the international judicial system works in cases of arrest or criminal conviction, which international lawyers to appeal to.
Day 3 – Training Unit 3: Information and misinformation
Some call it fake news but it is misinformation.
Use factual truth to draw attention to unverified details.
How to recognize misinformation content, how to dodge it, how to organize debunking.
Social media and websites: the world’s largest debunking sites and the most effective projects in progress.
Practical demonstration by looking at use of the following fact-checking tools
Fact Check Explorer
Who Posted What
Day 4 – Training Unit 4: Protecting data: protect yourself and others
Protecting sources today means knowing how to protect your computer data.
Alternative and protected browsing techniques, password, double verification, Osint.
How to manage and protect your social media, smartphone apps to use and set up security and privacy set ups in computers and other equipment.
Practical demonstration by the participants to evaluate the security vulnerabilities of their digital equipment and social media accounts.
Practical demonstration by the participants to evaluate security and privacy set up of their Android mobiles and windows computers
Discussion on how to deal with online harassment and abuse as well as recovering or claiming back blocked online accounts.
Day 5 – Training Unit 5: Dialogue with minorities
Definition of vulnerable and marginalized groups in Somalia
At the basis of a peaceful society lies coexistence, in constructive dialogue with minorities. Acceptance of the other is necessary for peaceful coexistence.
Examples and practices of coexistence and active laws in the world to guarantee and promote it.
How to deal with a reportage on the themes of coexistence, religious dialogue and intercultural differences: techniques and methods.
The training was delivered successfully and met its intended objectives. 34 journalists and media workers from the key media outlets in Puntland improved their understanding of the international and national laws on freedom of expression, freedom of press and human rights and how to effectively address censorship and safety problems. Journalists gained capacity and skills to use the existing digital tools to counter misinformation, disinformation, fake news and unreliable contents. They received digital security knowledge and use of the relevant digital tools to defeat the growing digital threats and do their vital work safely and effectively and make their families and their sources considerably more secure. Additionally, journalists understood their role in protection of the vulnerable groups in their reporting.
The local TVs such as Puntland TV, MMTV, Universal TV and Horseed Media reported the training sessions and what the journalists learned from each session and how will these help them improve the issue of freedom of the press and the protection and protection of journalists in Puntland, Somalia.
The participants of the training appreciated the School of Journalism of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and Caritas Somalia for this useful training, and also Bareedo Platform for facilitating the training sessions. They requested similar and continuation of such trainings and capacity building opportunities in the future.
Somalia is experiencing its worst drought crisis in a decade as result of failure of three consecutive rainy seasons since October 2020. There were also disastrous droughts between 2000 and 2011; resulting in famine, food insecurity, water scarcity and loss of livelihoods. Somali rural population who make up 60% of the country’s people are heavily affected by depleting water resources, as a result of rising demand and increasing drought frequency. This has resulted in fierce competition and conflict over water resources, something remained widespread among the rural communities in Puntland and Galmudug states in Somalia.
More than 91 water-related conflicts were recorded in Puntland and Galmudug states in Somalia for the year of 2021 alone, some of these conflicts have been deadly and destructive. Two clan conflicts that broke out in 2021 in Sool region of Puntland left death of more than 70 lives, and more than that number also died in successive clan conflicts that has been taking place in Balanbale and Ethiopian-border areas in Galmudug state in Somalia. These conflicts have had severe effects including loss of lives, massive displacements, inequitable access of water resources, expensive prices and vulnerable groups to fetch water from far and from unsafe open sources. Women and girls who mostly have responsibility of collecting water, face risk of physical or sexual assault at water points, and there have been even several women died in these incidents in Galmudug.
According to the communities, the local grievances and community tensions are mainly triggered by whenever one clan-group seeks to take the control of communal water sources without consent of other clan-groups. For example, a violent inter-clan conflict broke out in Dhabar Dalool, a remote village in the arid plains of northern Puntland’s Sool region in April 16, 2021 after one clan-group in the area claimed control of a shallow well sparking refusal and anger from other group, and finally dragged them into deadly confrontation that left death of more than 30 lives.
Another mentionable cause is disruption or violation of queues at shallows wells, surface water and water distribution points. There have been 31 cases of disputes over water distribution in Xingod in Galmudug state in Somalia where vulnerable rural families disputed over distribution of water trucking donated by charity organizations. In such situations, unequal distribution and access to water is common and also further escalation into conflict is highly possible.
The water conflicts and lack of sustainable water management contributed to water scarcity, degradation and loss of freshwater as well as increased vulnerability to the climate affects in the face of worst drought conditions. For example, 4 shallow wells and water sources located in Gumasoor rural area in Galmudug where rural communities have been getting water for centuries, destroyed and dried up as result of the conflicts and lack of maintenance.
Role of third parties in water conflicts
The water conflicts destroy inter-clan cohesions and divide a community already fractured by a number of internal conflicts, sometimes transforming into broader conflict when exploited by political groups, and this is even highlighted as a key driver of ongoing conflict and state fragility in Somalia according to the Global Risk In Sights. For instance, the self-declared region of Somaliland and autonomous Puntland State in Somalia who have been fighting over control of Sool region, are accused to have had role in two deadly inter-clan conflicts that broke out in that region in 2021.
Furthermore, the traditional elders of Bitaale rural village under South Galkacyo district in Galmudug as well as other external sources both indicated that Al-Shabab, a terrorist organization that controls much of southern and central Somalia has been taking advantage of climate impacts, fueling clan conflicts in Mudug and Galgaduud regions of Galmudug State and other regions in Somalia. Global Risk in Sights highlights that Al-Shabab exploits inter-clan tensions to fuel their jihadist insurgency in a manner which ominously foreshadows the future climate wars of the twenty-first century.
How rural communities are going to overcome water conflicts
The rural communities of Jariiban in Puntland and Bitaale in Galmudug states of Somalia discussed water conflicts openly in series consultation sessions conducted for the rural traditional elders, women and minority groups in April 2022. They have come up some appealing solutions that can be even replicated in other rural communities in Somalia. For instance, they come up set of procedures or guidelines to use for establishment of their own water management and governance structures through fair and inclusive process with participation of all groups such as elders, women and minority groups to reduce the risk of conflict and ensure equitable access to water in the face of climate crisis.
The water governance structures and terms of references identified by the rural communities in Puntland and Galmudug states may vary, but the main work of the suggested rural water management committee is to manage and be responsible for shared water sources and communal water-related activities in benefit of all. They will manage all key water sources in the rural areas such as boreholes, shallow wells, streams or surface water, water tubes or water trucking meant for the communal uses. They will also facilitate fair distribution of water donated for vulnerable rural people in the time of droughts, and also mediation of water-related conflicts.
As this is an immediate relief to the water conflicts as well as fair management and use of water sources, both communities addressed that water scarcity will remain and needs to be effectively addressed under the national and local climate strategies in Somalia to overcome water scarcity as droughts are becoming more frequent and more prolonged, linked to the global climate crisis. Furthermore, the rural communities in Galmudug particularly highlighted the importance of addressing climate-related violence, and preventing Al-Shabaab and other armed groups from taking advantage of climate impacts.
Somalia is facing the worst drought following the failure of three consecutive rainy seasons since October 2020. The worsening drought conditions devastated the vulnerable population’s access to water both in terms of quantity and quality particularly the rural people who make up 60% of the country’s 15.8 million (2020) people.
Somalia is a water scarce country with approximately 411 m3 of renewable fresh water per capita as of 2017 (World Bank, 2020). This is a staggering decline over time from 2 087 m3 in 1962 (ibid) which is far below the UN recommended threshold of 1 000 m3 per capita per year. The continuous decline of freshwater availability and repeated droughts as result of the climate change has resulted in fierce competition over water resources and increased water prices, which pastoral people meet through increased debt accumulation and/or livestock sales.
Pastoralists who typically breed cattle, camels, goats, and sheep depend on water trucking or water from boreholes and Berkads (Reservoirs) which are sold for higher prices. Less 20% of them receive from rivers, streams, and shallow wells for pastoralists for free but they mostly dry up in the time of drought. Pastoralists have to sell their livestock to buy water, but in this devastating drought, they run out of saleable livestock due to lack of water and pasture that impacted negatively to the animal conditions with livestock deaths increasing in many areas and an increasing proportion of the surviving ones being in very weak conditions. The pastoralists in Jariiban district under Mudug region of Puntland, one of the hardest hit regions share water scarcity and associated debts as their biggest problem in the face of the devastating drought.
“In this area (Jariiban) is a water scarce, and water is bought from water truckers for human and animal consumption as there are no free water (streams or surface water) as other regions. The livestock condition are poor and not fit for sale, and no one can afford to pay water in this condition” says Mohamed Said, a traditional elder in Jariiban district of Mudug region in Puntland, Somalia.
Pastoralists in Jariiban receive water through water trucking from the strategic boreholes that exhausted by dropdown of water levels and constant breakdown of boreholes due to long hours of pumping, fuel shortage and limited spare parts. Somali Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) indicates that water trucking is on the rise with some boreholes pumping for more than 12 hours in a day and serving more than 15 trucks per day.
“In the rural, lack of water exists, lack of money exists. Lack of saleable livestock exists, lack of food exists. All exist. Livestock receive water with water trucking, and the water trucking is not enough for livestock. The nearest place, we are charged with $250. The remote areas, it is more than that; $300 and more…. And no one can afford it” says Madina Nor, a pastoralist woman in Jariiban district of Mudug region in Puntland, Somalia.
Most of the boreholes use fuel-powered generators to pump out water, and the recent fuel prices that jumped to $1.1 per liter makes the situation even worse, sending a 200-liter barrel of water to more than $7 in some areas being the highest prices ever recorded in the area. The increasing water and food prices will send poor pastoralists into deep crisis and unpayable debts while they are still owed debts incurred in previous years.
“We have to pay back the heavy water debts incurred during the drought in the time of prosperity (rain season). I still pay back the water debts incurred previous droughts let alone of those incurred now and recent droughts” says Haji Farah, a pastoralist in Jariiban district of Mudug region in Puntland, Somalia.
“The vulnerability of the people using the borehole who cannot pay the fuel ..and the worsening situation of the drought and impact on livestock and the people, so we are calling for the concerned entities.. either of the government, the district of Jariiban, the regional administration, the state government and other generous individuals who give, to assist these people with whatever they can. We are asking Allah for blessed rain and take these people out of this situation” says Said Karshe, a member of Jariiban local council of Mudug region in Puntland, Somalia.