“It is an honour and privilege for Medair to work here in Somaliland with your people-Mr Ingram
By: Elizabeth Murekio
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Medair International Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jim Ingram today concluded an eight-day visit to various Medair programmes in Somalia/Somaliland.
During the visit Mr. Ingram met with high ranking government officials and toured various Medair heath, nutrition and water sanitation and hygiene programmes in Toghdeer and Sool regions.
On 17 November, Mr Ingram and Medair Country Director Rhonda Eikelboom held talks with the Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Abdilahi Ismail.
“I have come to visit Somaliland to see the projects and the programmes and the needs of Somaliland, “Mr Ingram said. “It is an honour and privilege for Medair to work here in Somaliland with your people.”
Also present at the meeting was Medair local partner Comprehensive Community-Based Rehabilitation Somaliland (CCBRS) Director Abib Ahmed. When Medair came to Somaliland in 2008, there were no other expatriates living in Burao Toghdeer Region, Mr. Ahmed said. Medair was the first to set up an office there and this attracted other INGOs to the area, he added.
Vice President Abdirahman Abdilahi Ismail thanked Medair for its work. “I am impressed you are working in remote areas because security is also a challenge the roads infrastructure is also very poor,” he said. “We are really very happy that you have dedicated yourselves that you stay there and work for the poor people in those regions.”
Earlier in the week, on 11 and 12 November Mr Ingram visited Medair’s programmes in Toghdeer and Sool regions.
“We started in 2008 in Burao,” said Medair Country Director Rhonda Eikelboom. “Our main focus has been on the high malnutrition rates for children under five and pregnant women.”
Medair has been addressing these through provision of health, nutrition and water sanitation and hygiene services.
Mr. Ingram’s first stop was the Burao Hospital Stabilization Centre where severely acutely malnourished children with complications, such as measles or tuberculosis are admitted for treatment.
“It is very obvious the need that Medair is responding to of malnutrition of the young children in this community here,” he said.
At the Mahmoud Ali Ahmed Primary School, Mr Ingram interacted with Grade 6 students who were taking part in the Medair sponsored child hygiene and sanitation training. He also saw the four latrines and water tank Medair has constructed for the 720 students in partnership with local NGO Islamic Relief Committee.
“It was very good to see the two things are going together. You are educating in the classroom children about proper hygiene and we are actually putting in place water supply system.” Mr. Ingram said.
Later that day he visited a mother and child clinic Medair is supporting at the Kossar Internally Displaced Persons Camp, and spent the afternoon talking to IDPs at the Muruqmal Camp where the Medair health programme in partnership with local Burao Drama Group was hosting a health sensitization drama presentation for residents.
On 12 November covering a distance of 275 kilometres, Mr. Ingram spent the day with remote rural communities in Qararo and Warimran Village in Sool Region.
In Qararo, Medair has rehabilitated five of the six wells and distributed ceramic water filters. In Warimran Medair has rehabilitated two berkads and has been vaccinating children since September 2012.
“Very good to see the immunisation and to hear how many times we have been here so far versus how many children we have cared for.” Mr. Ingram said.
Medair’s work in Somalia/Somaliland is supported by Swiss Solidarity OFDA, the E.C. Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, the United States Agency for International Development, Woord en Daad, Help a Child, EO Metterdaad, UNICEF, the World Food Programme, and private donations from Medair supporters.
Somaliland declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991. Its independence has not been recognised by the international community.
This feature was produced with resources gathered by Medair field staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.
M/s Elizabeth Murekio is the Medair Field Communications Officer and can be reached at email@example.com