Somalilandsun- The lack of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is one of the greatest obstacles to poverty alleviation and economic growth not only in Somaliland but many other developing countries as well.
This was stated by Mr. Ahmed Osman Gelleh, the chief executive officer of Gelleh group of companies during the inauguration of a multimillion dollar project in Hargeisa.
The Gelleh group of companies runs the Somaliland Bottling company-SBI which is a Hargeisa based franchise of the Coca Cola company thence facilitating Somaliland to benefit from the CocaCola rain project.
According to the CEO, things are looking up for the people of Hargeisa , thanks to a three years-long partnership between the Hargeisa Water Agency (HWA), the Somaliland Ministry of Water Resources, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, the European Union, UNICEF, Somaliland Beverage Industries (SBI) and Terre Solidali.
The event officiated by the Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Sayli, Water Development Minister and other senior officials saw A low-cost, efficient and safe water storage and distribution system installed and operational, featuring water-vending kiosks, helping for the very first time residents of eastern parts of Hargeisa Cory to secure sufficient and clean drinking water.
In a brief summation of prevalent status Osman Ahmed Gelleh said , “In spite of extensive support from the local municipality and several international and local development agencies, there is no water supply system in place. This is not unusual in Somaliland, where most urban centers suffer chronic water shortages and where the local water agencies rarely meet demand. Much of the population, living in impoverished and peripheral areas, has to buy water from water trucks at exorbitant prices.
Similarly The obstacles we overcome were more than merely logistical, financial or engineering related – the team also had to win the downtrodden community’s trust, said Ahmed Gelleh.
Adding that, “We needed to dig a six km trench to lay the pipe that would bring life-giving water to Ayaha,” he said. “One of the biggest challenges we faced was to persuade the many private landowners that claimed the land on which the trench was dug, to allow digging through ‘their’ land. We succeeded with strong collaboration between the Hargeisa Water Agency, local elders, and local imams.”
With projects already launched in 36 of Africa’s 55 countries, RAIN is continuing toward its goal of providing safe drinking water to two million people across Africa.“Hargeisa has a population of about 1 million, and roughly half of those people do not have access to water mains,” said Osman, noting how much work remains ahead. “I’d like to help to bring clean water to more of these people.”
2014 was the year Somaliland was featured In the Coca Cola foundation Rain project which targets provision of safe drinking water in projects in 36 of Africa’s 55 countries.
That year 50000 Residents of Ayah mostly Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and refugees living in makeshift, destitute squalor were Beneficiaries of clean and sufficient water availability, at no cost at all.
According to the Water Development Minister Suleiman Yusuf Kore “The Rain Project serves as a prime example of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and SBI’s commitment to Somaliland, fostering a potentially bright future of growth, prosperity and peace.