The European Union (EU) jointly with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development of Somaliland, the Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources of the African Union (AU IBAR), the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), officially closed today in Hargeisa two projects funded by the EU in the framework of its overall support to the livestock sector. The event was the opportunity to share with the newly appointed Minister the achievements of the projects, the lessons learnt and the challenges for future sustainability.
RAHS Project, “Reinforcing Animal Health Services”, was implemented by AU IBAR in partnerships with Terranuova and COOPI and provided a relevant contribution to sustain and improve animal health services through a stronger partnership between the Ministry of Livestock, the private associations and the pastoralist communities. The project developed regulations and policies, supported and trained Ministry staff and communities, improved infrastructures like laboratories and inspection posts and ensured disease surveillance along the main livestock routes.
On the other hand, the Project Sustainable Peri-urban Milk Value chain development in Somaliland, implemented by ICIPE in partnership with FAO contributed to increase quantity and quality of milk production in Hargeisa improving the performance of the different stakeholders along the value chain. 25 associations amongst producers, collectors and retailers were strengthened with training, new technologies for fodder production and pest control, solar powered cooling containers, rehabilitation of market infrastructures and revolving grants to support business initiatives for more than 300 women.
The EU Ambassador Veronique Lorenzo recognized the importance of the livestock sector in Somaliland economy for job creation, rural livelihoods, food security and gender empowerment but also the need to address the big challenges currently affecting its performance like the drought and the Saudi ban. “The EU will still stand alongside Somaliland to overcome these challenges in order to consolidate peace and stability” she also said.
The Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development, Hassan M. Ali Gaafadhi, appreciated EU support and stressed the commitment of the Ministry to sustain the results achieved by the projects and asked for a stronger involvement and ownership of the Ministry in future interventions.
The Mayor of Hargeisa Abdirahman M. Aideed welcomed the participants and expressed its gratitude to donor and partners for support provided while the Director of AU IBAR Prof. Ahmed El-Sawahly confirmed the commitment of its organization in improving the performance of the livestock sector in Somaliland in the framework of their continental strategies.
The event was followed by a visit to the Hargeisa Livestock Market to officially handover the new sheds rehabilitated by the Project “ Enhancing Somali Livestock Trade (ESOLT)” also funded by EU and still being implemented by AU IBAR and FAO. The visitors interchanged with the livestock associations and the staff working in the market about possible ways to improve the management and the quality of the services provided by the facility.