Donkey Carts Build Resilience in Southern Somalia

GENEVA, Switzerland, February 5, 2016

IOM Somalia, with funding from the Government of Japan, has provided 100 vulnerable households in Garbaharey district in southern Somalia with donkey carts to improve their livelihoods and generate income.

While donkeys are relatively cheap in Garbaharey, the carts are relatively expensive, but are an important income generating asset. They have three main uses: transportation of agricultural products or household assets; fetching water; and renting out to other households.

"In 2015, the Al-Shabab militia restricted movement and trade in the district. Food and farm products could not be transported and trading was impossible. Donkey carts were the only means of transport available and they enabled us to feed the whole population. So the militia burned over 70 carts to try to stop movement in the district," says District Commissioner Nuur Mohamed Buraale.

"In addition to being an essential livelihood asset in this region, they also play an important role in the protection and economic empowerment of women," says IOM Somalia's Heidi Salzer.

Water points in Garbaharey and its surrounding villages are scarce and women often have to walk for long distances in search of water. The average household in Garbaharey uses 60 litres of water in a day. One donkey can only carry 60 litres. The women therefore have to fetch water every day and carry it over long distances. But a donkey cart can carry 250 litres of water - enough to sustain a family for four days, she notes.


International Office of Migration (IOM)