Zahra Abdi – a mother of five children has been living in Jaamacadda IDP settlement of Hodan district in Mogadishu for the last five years.

Zahra Abdi – a mother of five children has been living in Jaamacadda IDP settlement of Hodan district in Mogadishu for the last five years.

“in the beginning here in Jaamacadda IDP camp of Hodan district in Mogadishu, I remember facing a number of challenges; First there was lack of water, there was no water near the camp, every morning I was walking at a distance of about 1Km to buy water at the cost of 1,000 Somali Shilling (0.05 USD) per 20 liter jerry-can and I could only afford to buy one or two jerry-cans of water per day, an amount which was far below my household water requirements” Zahra laments.

Life was very difficult. People used to fetch contaminated water from a shallow well around 1Km far away from their makeshift shelters. Every woman child in the camp had had to do so. They used to pay 1,000 Somalia Shillings (0.05 USD) per 20 Lt jerry-can of poorly handled water.

On the other hand, conflicts over fetching water were a major threat for internally displaced persons. Skirmishes, which were sometimes violent ones, were usually over which group of IDPs will first fetch water and which group will be the last one.

As a result of HIJRA water and sanitation project, clean water in the IDP camps - such as this camp in Zona K of Hodan district - means a reduced risk of illnesses and less time away from work and school as well.

The difference made by this project to people’s lives is profound and visible. It saves lives. Clean drinking water allows IDPs to stabilize, women to work or care for their children.

“Clean drinking water is now accessible to the threshold of my makeshift shelter” Says Zahra. “Currently, I fetch at least five Jerry-cans of water - which is a total of 100 liters of water per day. For me and for my family of five, life is no longer the same. Access to water is no longer a difficult. From a saving of Somali Shillings 3,000 a day, I started a small petty trade of selling food stuffs and vegetable on top of a small table. I see a future as one with lots of optimism and encouraging” adds Zahra