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Tsunami disaster – countries in crisis

Somalia: Recovery effort aims for better basic services than before tsunami

© UNICEF/HQ05-0603/Heger
Children and women fill jerrycans at UNICEF-installed water pipes in the village of Hafun. Sea water contaminated many of the local wells during the tsunami.

By Chris Niles

NEW YORK, 22 June 2005 – Reconstruction in the tsunami-affected Puntland region of north-eastern Somalia is well under way, thanks to a broad alliance involving UNICEF, other UN agencies, relief organizations and local partners. 

The relief effort in this remote region is going mean a better standard of living than before the tsunami.

“What we’re trying to do now is provide a service level in the affected area that hasn’t been seen in the last twenty years,” said UNICEF Representative in Somalia Jesper Morch.

© UNICEF/HQ05-0603/Heger
This child lives in an a temporary shelter outside the village of Hafun.

Somalia is a very poor country, riven by civil conflict. For a Somali child, the chance of surviving to adulthood is among the lowest in the world, as is the likelihood of getting an education.

Priorities for improvement

In addition to providing low-cost housing, water and sanitation, health services and relief supplies, UNICEF has made improving education a priority. The organization is helping reconstruct schools and train teachers to deal with the traumatic after-effects of the disaster, and providing support for road restoration.

“When all that is put in place, the affected areas of Puntland will have a quality of life that might be considerably better than for a lot of other people in Somalia,” Mr. Morch said.

“The challenge will be then to extend the services from the tsunami-affected areas to a maximum number of Somali citizens.”




22 June 2005:
How the reconstruction is proceeding in Somalia.

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