Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Doing Dadaab’s dirty work earns good income for refugee families

Friday 8 March, 2024 {HMC} With rubbish piling high in Dadaab refugee camps in northeastern Kenya, a youth community group has taken on the task of cleaning up the camps and at the same time providing much needed employment to refugee men and women.

Sahra Mohamed, 38, has been working six days a week since December, collecting waste with a rake and taking it to a pit to burn. It’s exhausting work, as temperatures reach 39-40o C in this arid region, and it’s the first job she has had in her 16 years in Dadaab’s Hagadera camp.

As a mother of 11 children, and her husband aged 70 and blind, Sahra’s motivation is to provide a decent living for her family, as aid distributions have dwindled.

She earns $38 from the cleaning job, which supplements the 6,890 Kenya shillings (less than $50) cash aid and 26 kg of maize and lentils provided by UN agencies per month.

“I can now buy flour and other food stuffs including meat. I buy my youngest child milk as well. His father is elderly, so I also buy uniforms and books for the other children,” she said.

However, walking 10 km a day in the scorching sun raking trash is easier to bear than the insults she receives from other camp residents for the important job she is doing.

“My children in school say that other children bully them because their mother collects garbage and they tell me to stop my work. I tell them if I stopped working I wouldn’t be able to provide them with books and pens,” she said.

Although her eight children have free primary and secondary education, she has to buy their school materials and uniform.

Sahra and her family were displaced from Jamame, Lower Juba in 2008, where they owned an eight-hectare farm that they were driven off by insecurity in the area.

Mohamed Ahmed Ade also picked up a camp cleaning job in December after being unemployed for a year. The $38, though little, helps his family to enjoy three meals.

“It has helped me a lot, I raise my children alone after my wife died. I buy them food, books and clothes. I would want to get more income of course since there are challenges in the refugee camp,” he said.

Mohamed used to collect and sell firewood making $80-100 a month until his donkey died in January 2023. With six children, aid was not enough so he picked up a rake.

“This job is beneficial for me to get extra income. It’s a continuous job as well that helps us in taking care of our needs,” he said. He is saving $10 from his work every month hoping to buy a donkey to resume his firewood business.

He and his family fled Kismayo when Al-Shabab took control of the city in 2009. He said he always wanted to return to Kismayo but was not sure how he would survive there.

The youth community group behind the Dadaab cleaning operations took over the task last August, after an international NGO, Peace Winds Japan, ceased this work last March due to cuts in funding.

Youth group organiser, Mohamed Abdullahi Jimale, said the waste was accumulating in Hagadera, Ifo and Dhagahley camps and they needed to act. They have been recruiting workers and now have 180 people hired on $38 each a month.

Mohamed said they collect contributions of 100 Kenya shillings from refugee families and use the proceeds to pay the workers. He and other volunteers had been running hygiene and sanitation awareness campaigns before taking over the cleaning operations.

“Dead animal carcasses are lying all over the camp on the ground,” Mohamed said.

“The waste has been piling up and even formed a hill that’s not been attended to. We thought this could result in disease outbreaks such as cholera, which could be dangerous.”


{DAAWO MUUQAALKA} Madaxa ugu sareeya Hay-ada Save the childreen oo booqatay xeryaha barakacayaasha ee Baydhabo

Talaado 28, May 2024, {HMC} Madaxa ugu sareeya Hay-ada Save the childreen oo booqatay xeryaha barakacayaasha ee Baydhabo HOOS KA DAAWO MUQAALKA WARBIXINTA https://youtu.be/cTFS6AI9o9Q

{DAAWO MUUQAALKA} Booliska Galmudug oo Xeray Gabar Caan ka ah Baraha Bulshada.

Talaado 28, May 2024, {HMC}  Booliska Galmudug oo Xeray Gabar Caan ka ah Baraha Bulshada. HOOS KA DAAWO MUQAALKA WARBIXINTA https://youtu.be/sc1rhYUKG6g