Alshahid Center concludes a two-day workshop about ‘Tackling Natural Disasters in Rural Communities’ in Mogadishu

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Mogadishu (Alshahid)-Alshahid Center for Research and Media Studies on Thursday concluded in Mogadishu a two day workshop on Tackling Natural Disasters in Rural Communities.

The workshop, held at Safari Hotel, was attended by politicians, intellectuals, as well as prominent local figures.

The workshop follows another one on How to take advantage of International attention to Somalia in solving the country’s problem held by Alshahid Centre which ended on Tuesday.

The following is the final statement from the workshop:

Based on the objectives of Alshahid Centre for Research and Media Studies especially on conducting of research, studies and hold symposiums on topics of interest to public affairs and affect the future of the Somali people politically, socially and economically, the Center held a two day (18th  and 19th  July 2012) workshop entitled: Tackling Environmental Disaster in Rural Communities,. The workshop participants ranged from politicians, intellectuals to experts in the field of disaster management in Somalia.

The overall objective was finding strategic solutions to the frequent natural and artificial disasters in Somalia by understanding the root causes in order to facilitate efforts of national response.

The following papers were presented in the workshop:

The concept of environmental disasters and their forms presented by Mr Ahmed Adan Abdullahi- an expert in natural disasters. After the presentation, the participants were divided into four groups.

The first group discussed about environmental disasters that occur in Somalia. The second discussed about environmental natural disaster. The third discussed about environmental disasters which are man-made. The fourth group discussed about tackling natural disasters and their historical context.

The methods and techniques used in dealing with environmental disasters presented by Mr Abdirahman Mohamed Tuuryare-head of Alshahid office in Mogadishu. After the presentation, the participants were again divided into four groups.

The first group discussed about traditional methods and techniques. The second discussed about the modern methods and techniques. The third discussed about the capacity of the community and its institutions in tackling disasters. The fourth group discussed about the foreign support for the Somali community in the face of disaster.

The concept of rural community and its way of life presented by Mohamed Ahmed Abdullahi- a Somali author and journalist. Also the participants were divided into four groups.

The first group discussed about traditional Somali community and its economic and social crises. The second discussed about modern Somali community and its economic and social crises. The third discussed about the role of the Somali community in environmental disasters. The fourth group discussed about the role of regional and international community in environmental disasters.

The obligation of Somali society and its leaders in tackling environmental disasters presented by Yusuf Hussein Jimale-head of Salama foundation for Community Development and among top leaders in Peace and Development party. After his presentation, the participants were divided into two groups.

The first group discussed about the role of formal institution in tackling environmental disasters.

The second group discussed about the role of public institutions in tackling environmental disasters.

The workshop categorized natural environmental disasters in Somalia into three categories:

  • Drought
  • Flood
  • Contiguous diseases

The following are recommendations from the workshop:

  1. Establishing strong institutions for tackling environmental disasters
  2. Need to establish a quick response agency during natural disasters
  3. Establishment of an early warning system
  4. Drilling of wells in agricultural areas
  5. Promotion of local agricultural production
  6. Encourage self-reliance and use of natural resources in the country
  7. Early planning for the management of available resources
  8. Conduct research and studies related to natural disasters and establishing research center specialized in environmental disasters
  9. The need for coordinating with relief agencies in determining the type of assistance required and the appropriate timing for distribution and this is the responsibility of the Somali government
  10. Need to change the mentality of adapting to environmental disasters then to that of prevention and solutions.
  11. Need for coordination between international agencies and local actors in the field so as to prioritize and effectively help the needy people.
  12. Educating the population on ways to cope with the occurrence of natural disasters
  13. The need for reforming education system and focusing on the importance of hygiene and environmental protection
  14. Need for official standards against environmental pollution by industrial countries and international piracy in the territorial waters of Somalia
  15. Combating deforestation that leads to desertification, which is dangerous and has serious affect on the life of people and animals