Apart from the other layers of hazards existing in the target areas, COVID-19 had also impacted small scale farmers. It has been reported many farmers have abandoned their farming and sought an alternative source of income from the nearby towns. This has increased and exposed the farmers to the risk of COVID 19.
A. Food security of poor farmers through revitalizing agricultural production in the targeted areas. Through cash for work, irrigation canal will be rehabilitated, and farm inputs will be supplied. The rehabilitation work will be on excavating (desilting) of flood damaged canals. This will improve the accessibility and availability of water for irrigation uses. Two canals with dimension of 2m width and 1m depth and 2km length will be rehabilitated. Each canal will provide water to 10 farms. In addition to this, the farmers will receive an improved seed such as maize, sesame, tomatoes and pumpkins. Availing water and seeds to farmers will improve their farm activities and reduce the risk of seeking labour to unsafe environments. In doing this the farmers will start producing by themselves and subsequently able to both feed their families and sell their produce. The project will link to farmers to the existing potential markets through establishing a network between agriculture traders and target farmer groups. This activity will be done for 15 days by 200 farmers at a rate of $5 per day. Each farm will be distributed with farm equipment’s worth $200
B. Increased employment opportunity through VSLA and income generating activities: As COVID 19 had mostly impacted poor and vulnerable people who were dependent on market activities such as labour, aid and family support. In the first phase, the project had transferred cash to maintain the minimum food basket for target households. The cash had supported families to sustain their livelihoods in specific periods of the project. In order to move to an early socio-economic recovery, on the second phase, the project intends to transition from short term cash transfer to more sustainable income generating activities. The project will introduce a village, saving and loans association approach (VSLA) to improve access to financial resources for poor households, targeting women in priority. The primary purpose of a VSLA is to provide simple savings and loan facilities and through these and other enabling activities empower women to manage resources and invest them for the benefit of their household. Loans can provide a form of self- insurance to members, supplemented by a saving fund which provides small but important income to members in distress. The VSLA system enables members of a self-selected group to voluntarily save money through purchasing shares. The savings are then invested in a loan fund from which members can borrow as well as meet their immediate needs such as food, water and health care or make further investments to diversify and increase their incomes. The project will support 15 VSLA groups of 15 – 20 members with initial seed fund of 3000 USD for each group. The activity will start with community mobilization, selection of households to participate and group formation. While the methodology is simple, it depends on a very carefully structured system of training. Over seven sessions, groups learn to: form their associations; define a purpose; elect officials; design their system of savings, insurance and credit; and practice running savings and credit meetings. Once this process is completed, VSLAs can begin to save and to lend. They are supervised over a period of 12 months by field staffs who ensure procedures and systems work properly and that the groups can function independently thereafter;
C. Health: Strengthened capacity of existing health facilities and services to combat Covid-19. The proposed project will provide 18 PPE kits to 3 health facilities in the seven IDP camps and the three designated COVID 19 referral hospitals. The proposed project will equip 11 COVID 19 screening centres in the to do surveillance and early detection at the primary health care centres in the IDP camps, provide cleaning and sterilising equipment and supplies to these facilities to limit hospital infections. Other activities also include procurement of medicines, community mobilization outreach and training of frontline health workers. IR will also work with the government hospitals and other unit of covid-19 task force in the preparation of covid roll-out. IR will support through advocacy and media outreach for people to accept and take the vaccines. This approach of advocacy, lobbying through media and electronic information sharing will enable the roll-out of vaccines. IR will also use its health facilities as centre for passing information to patients and their dependents to take up vaccines once its made available. Similarly, IR will by making available a vehicle and a driver support the ministry of health with logistics mainly in Balaad, Baidoa and Bandar districts.
D. WASH: The project will expand water points in IDPs. In some IPDs for instance Dayniile district, the accessibility of water stands for handwashing is still very small. The water point will allow beneficiaries to easily access water points for handwashing in their proximity. The expansion will include laying out of pipes and construction of fenced water points. The expansion will improve the sanitation and hygiene of IDP communities so that they can prevent from themselves the spread of COVID 19 pandemic. The water points will be placed in strategic position such as schools and health centres. Additionally, IR will construct water tanks, piping system, training of water committee with a view to make water available for covid-19 prevention.
E. Protection: Since there is a prevailing reports of incidence of gender based violence, early marriage, the project will carry out an awareness sessions including training of women and men. These sessions will be in line with Islamic Relief Somalia safeguarding and protection principles.