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Displaced Settlement Fires In Somalia ‎Highlight The Need For Improved Services

ISSUE 202
Front Page
Index

Headlines

Political Parties Accept Guurti's Offer To ‎Mediate Dispute Over Last Tuesday's ‎Election Of Opposition MP As House Speaker

Julie Morgan MP, Sponsors Motion On ‎Somaliland In The House Of Commons‎

A New Era Dawns In Somaliland

Shame On The President, Shame On UDUB ‎Party, And Shame On The Police Commissioner

Heavy Rains In North, Poor Season In South‎

A Response To The “.... Open Letter To His Excellency.. The President Of ‎Somaliland.. Regarding PSA Between The Government Of Somaliland And ‎‎‘Unknown’ Company Called REC For Exclusive Right To Conduct Petroleum ‎Operations In Somaliland ..." By Rova Energy Corporation Limited {REC}‎

TOPCAT MARINE SECURITY INC. OWNER PETER CASINI HAS A HISTORY OF BANKRUPCY IN NEW JERSEY – USA‎‎

Lack Of Coherent And Coordinated Foreign ‎Policy In Promoting Somaliland

Local & Regional Affairs

MIDROC Ethiopia To Import Goods Via Berbera

U.S. Builds Democracy With Foreign Help, Election ‎Monitor Says‎

SSI Exclusive Interview With Somalia PM Ali ‎Mohammed Gedi - Somaliland Is A Somalia Entity

IGAD Calls For The Lifting Of Arms Embargo ‎On Somalia‎

Displaced Settlement Fires In Somalia ‎Highlight The Need For Improved Services‎

UN Special Representative To Attend IGAD ‎First Ministerial Meeting Inside Somalia‎‎‎

Development Agencies Launch Distance Learning in Somalia‎

Mercenaries To Police Somali Coast

Editorial
Images of Tuesday the 29th of November 2005

International News

UNFPA Asks Donors To Increase Assistance ‎For Women In Conflict

Armed Raid On Somali Cafe

Veil Of Secrecy Lifted On Somali Community

Somalis Urged To Avert HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Survey Supports Ban On Drug Khat

Urban Life - Darcus Howe On Desperate ‎Somalis In Plumstead

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

The Observer Book Aid Appeal

Unreported World. Episode 3: Somalia

The Isaq Somali Diaspora And‎ Poll-Tax Agitation In Kenya, 1936-41 ‎(part 4)

City Lands Somali Book Collection

Notice Board

A SOMALI PLAGIARIST WRITER‎

Opinions

UDUB Should Accept New Leadership & Move On

The Big Bang Incident‎

The Presidency Of Somaliland & 2007‎‎

Somaliland Non-Governmental Organizations’ Double ‎Sword Phenomenon And Lack Of Government Oversight ‎

Principles Of Public Life Of Somaliland Members Of ‎The Parliament‎

The Merchants of Hate Struck Again‎


Nairobi , November 30, 2005 (UNOCHA) – The outbreak of fire that swept through a settlement for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Mogadishu on 21 November continues to highlight the immense suffering and vulnerability of this group of the population in the war ravaged country.

‘As unfortunate as it is, the fires signify and are a consequence of a deep rooted problem’ said the Acting UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia , Mr. Elballa Hagona. ‘The real issue is overcrowding on marginal land, the lack of economic opportunity and continuing human rights abuses. They (the internally displaced people) are often seen as outsiders - and are often not given the protection of host clans.’

In the hours following the fire that swept through the Danille area of Mogadishu on 21 November, and following a rapid assessment led by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN children’s agency (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and other agencies distributed food and household items to families who had lost their homes. Working with UN local non-governmental partners and community representatives distributed food, blankets, cooking sets, plastic sheeting, soap and mosquito nets.

Somalia is home to an estimated 400,000 internally displaced persons, most of whom live in the south/central zone. The IDPs fled their homes elsewhere in the country during the 15-year civil war, and live alongside other extremely vulnerable Somalis, including those who over the years have returned from exile abroad, but also cannot go back to their original homes.  

Most IDPs pay rent for a small piece of land barely large enough to build their rudimentary shelters made of scavenged materials such as plastic sheets, metal scrap, plastic cartons and branches. Latrines are virtually non-existent (as most landlords do not allow them) and access to clean water remains a major challenge.

As a result of overcrowding and the flimsy nature of shelter, the risk of fires has intensified in IDP settlements over the years. Earlier this year 2,000 people were left homeless when fire gutted the Buul Eelaay camp close to Bossaso in the Puntland region of Somalia .

Being a resilient society, ‘Somalis are now taking strides in trying to redress this situation’ said Mr. Elballa Hagona. ‘We are witnessing enhanced partnership with the international community in addressing both the immediate and underlying issues of IDP vulnerability including improved service delivery and planning for longer term resettlement and reintegration. Concrete actions in Hargeisa and Bossaso demonstrate that a lot can be done to give hope to these people who are after all, Somalis themselves.’

In the course of 2005, UN agencies, Non Government Organizations and Community Based Organizations have strengthened partnerships with Somali authorities in Hargeisa and Garowe, and are collaborating to implement a strategy for improved services and resettlement options for displaced persons. Much less has been undertaken in southern Somalia , largely due to the continuing constraints of insecurity and limited access. However, there is increased optimism that the presence of the Transitional Federal Government will make it possible for humanitarian agencies to deliver services to displaced people, and for IDPs to resettle in decent homes in communities with proper services.

For further information contact:

Amanda Di Lorenzo,

Information Officer

UNOCHA Somalia

Tel: (+254) 020 3754150-5

Email: dilorenzoa@un.org


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