Mohamed Abdulle Barre, 46 years old is a father of 6 children (4 daughters and two sons). He lives in Jaran village 9 km east of Afgoi district, L/Shabelle. The village is an agro-pastoral area. Most of the villagers are small rain fed farmers. Although River Shabelle is not far away from the village, there is no agricultural irrigation infrastructure in place like the other surrounding villages. So their farms depend upon rainfall water to be cultivated. The farm tools they use for farming are also simple/manual and there are no other machineries. The other source of household income is rearing small number of cows and goats. Mohamed Abdulle, describing about himself said:
“I was born here in Jaran village, grew up here. I used to look after the cows for my family and sometimes helped my parents on the farming activities. What I liked most was tending animals, because farming to me was too boring activity”. “As a family, we were better off than as we are now when there was a government before 1991. But after the collapse of the Somali Government youth migrated to urban towns for employment and some of them joined to local militias loyal to warring factions. I stayed here in the village with my family”.
Talking about the latrine intervention at his village, Mohamed said:
“Jaran community had no latrines before this intervention and there is nowhere else to use as a latrine since the village is surrounded by an extensive plain farmland. CED has constructed for us latrines which helped us very much. Because, our women used to go out for disposing human excreta which was dangerous for them. Sometimes ago, I personally witnessed a lady who went out for such purpose and was raped by a man. It was in the afternoon when we heard a lady crying and loudly shouting for help. We ran towards her and when we reached the place there was a man armed with AK47 gun. He thought we had guns and fired at us deliberately; but luckily, none of us was injured and he ran away after he did what he could do with that poor lady”.
“The other burning point today is there is nowhere to go for complaints or raise your issue if such things again happen; because, there is no effective government in place”. Mohamed added.
“The construction of latrines by CED & Oxfam Novib at Jaran village is better than everything else because when women needed a place for wastes/excretion disposal, they used to go out in groups to take care of any external attacks that they might encounter. Now, everybody is safe and can use the latrines constructed safely and comfortably. I came to know the advantages of education, and as I am becoming older, I am planning to send younger ones of my children to education in the future”.
Mohamed Abdulle concluded.
Fig.02: Mohamed Abdulle in front of a newly constructed latrine in Jaran village, Afgoi, L/Shabelle