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...showing love

Trocaire's work in Somalia.

Story by Enigma Images July 18th, 2017

When you’re told you’re needed in Somalia, you immediately think of the worst possible thing that could happen to you in the hands of another human being. Despite this, the Somali are very warm and welcoming people and extremely generous. You wonder "What happened?"

Trocaire runs numerous programs in the country and they asked us to cover them. Trócaire is the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland. They have been in Somalia for over 20 years, particularly in the Gedo region. Trócaire’s vision is to implement quality, sustainable and harmonised health and education programmes while also addressing acute humanitarian needs.


Following a poor April to June 2016 Gu season and failed October to December 2016 Deyr season, food security has deteriorated significantly across Somalia. We got called in to cover Trocaire’s interventions during this drought season and how it has further stressed their humanitarian efforts. This is because the drought has reduced the number of sources of potable water and therefore there has been a deadly outbreak of cholera. At the same time, it has caused the Somali people, who are traditionally pastoralists, to move around in search of pasture for their livestock. This in turn has affected school attendance as children must move with their families.

The cholera outbreak was first recorded in Bay and in Bakol, Central Somalia. This being an area under extremist militia, humanitarian agencies were expelled and are prevented from returning. The inhabitants have had to travel to Gedo, in the South, in order to receive treatment and food to help them through the drought. Unfortunately, they have brought the cholera infection with them, introducing it to the local population as well have creating cholera hotspots within their refugee IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps.


Yet through all this, Trocaire still had to keep working. Even though both the drought and resultant cholera were unexpected occurrences, they still had to factor them into their programs as the repercussions from both had far reaching effects. These new circumstances took a great toll on their budgets, requiring them to fund-raise and that’s where we came in. Our assignment was to cover the effects of the drought and cholera outbreak and how Trocaire was working hard to:

1. Curtail the spread of cholera

2. Highlight Trocaire’s work in Gedo.

These images and video would help show what they are up against and assist them in fundraising to buffer their already strained budget. It was an assignment we truly enjoyed because we love working with organisations that are working to uplift the people they serve. Trocaire does not even employ external security in this volatile country. They rely on community policing and since they have been very instrumental in helping uplift the conditions of the people of Gedo, the community protects them very well.

gedweyne cholera treatment centre

Gedweyne Cholera Treatment Centre exterior
A bed at the CTC is made of plastic sheeting with a hole in the middle and a bucket below so that a patient doesn't soil themselves
Abdillahi Hire Hersi lays on a bed, recovering from Cholera

belet amin primary school

Class Teacher, Ubah Abdullahi, instructs her Std 3 class
Class Teacher, Ubah Abdullahi, instructs her Std 3 class
Faadhumo Dhicis Aden goes round marking schoolwork of her Std 1 class

dhuyucleh idp camp food programme

Mary Wamuyu, Trocaire Nutrition Officer, forms a food ration committee for Dhuyucleh IDP camp
Pamela Wasonga, Nutrition Officer-Trocaire, hands out a food ration card to Jamila Salat Gedi at the Dhuyuleh IDP camp
Maumuna Aden shows her food ration card as a member of Dhuyuleh IDP camp
Khao Galo receives her food ration card as a member of Dhuyuleh IDP camp
Dahabu Ali, an elderly member of Dhuyuleh IDP camp, receives her ration card
Maalim Kerow, a deaf member of Dhuyuleh IDP camp, smiles upon receiving his food ration card

dollow cholera treatment centre

The Dollow Health Centre free ambulance roves the district picking up sick and malnourished individuals and rushes them to the CTC
Dr Bishan Roble, head of Dollow CTC
ORS solution is given to rehydrate all cholera sufferers who come to the CTC and help them build up their lost nutrients and water
Zeinab Odowa Colow, and internally displaced person, watches over her dehydrated son, Osman (4), at the Dollow Cholera Treatment Centre
A cannula is inserted into Osman Colow's hand to allow the medical staff at Dollow CTC to fit him with an IV drip.
"Abdi" is a physically challenged refugee from Ethiopia and now a beggar in Luuq. The roving ambulance found him very ill and brought him in
All visitors to Dollow CTC must step in a chlorine bath to kill any traces of the disease before they leave the facility.

dollow health centre

A mother from one of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps walks into Dollow HC for assistance
A baby is weighed on a scale at Dollow HC
Nurses at Dollow HC register mothers before distributing Plumpy Sup (a high nutrient food supplement) to them for their children
Adeego Adan Hussein is assisted by hospital staff in feeding her daughter, Deeqa Ibrahim, with Plumpy Sup
Ruun Ali Gedi is handed a weekly ration of Plumpy Sup for her son, Maulid, at Dollow HC.
Abdullahi Mohammed Saalah, pharmacist at Luuq Hospital, proudly stands in his fully stocked pharmacy.
Faawo Maalim and her child Wiilo Mohammed are re-examined by Luuq Hospital staff nurse
Wiilo Mohamed, 4, recovers from severe malnutrition at Luuq Hospital under the guidance of the doctors and his mother diligent feeding
Shukri Hassan Elmi, who gave birth the day before, checks on her yet unnamed child
Baare Bule sleeps in the same bed as his daughter Mardo Bule as she receives treatment for severe malnutrition
Abdi Mohammed Aden, Luuq Hospital Medical Officer

luuq primary school

Kitchen block of Luuq primary school built through Trocaire funding
A class teacher hands students books to be used in their curriculum
Some of the books that are made available to Luuq Primary School students, free of charge, courtesy of Trocaire support
Saida Yusuf Osman stands in her class
Students of Luuq Primary School pose with their Trocaire gift bags

For me the key thing was to shoot images that showed the humanity of Somalia. I purposed to move away from images war or complete devastation and show a people that are living and working and building their nation. Somalia has a working government and its people desire to see its success. This drought, however, has further hampered its advancement. All Somalia needs is support lent to its already established systems. That's why Trocaire is there.

Thank you to everybody who contributed to the Church collection for east Africa last weekend. The response we received...

Posted by Trocaire on Monday, 24 July 2017