Friday, April 13, 2012

Salahley field trip report - 01/04/2012

The third phase roll out of the Beneficiary SMS Feedback system took place on 25th March, 2012, in Salahley district. We visited Salahley town and 6 villages with ongoing Community-Driven Recovery and Development (CDRD) projects, including: construction and rehabilitating of water tanks (barkets) and wells and farming irrigation system. We met beneficiaries and carried out mobilization and awareness campaign in: Ina-igare, Ina-guha,  Aden Abokor, Qolbulale, Qoldhuhule, Dhinbiriyale villages and Salahley town.

·        Roll out Beneficiary SMS Feedback System to Salahley district.
·       Mobilize beneficiaries, informing and explaining to them how the feedback 
     system works.
·        Establishing a good working relations with the Community Project 
     Implementation Unit (CPIU), Village Committees and local DRC staff to help us   
     implement the project effectively and act as our contact point in the field.

After travelling for 2 hours on a rough road for 75km south of Hargiesa, we reached Salahley town about 2pm. On the way, we witnessed signs of drought and villages where many residents migrated to save their livestock. We have come across skeletons of dead animals on the roadside. Winter season is dry, cold and harsh for nomadic communities living in rural areas and they often migrate with their young children and livestock in search of water and greener pastures.
For the following 5 days we visited beneficiaries in Salahley town and the 6 villages for mobilization and awareness raising, these were mainly beneficiaries of water tanks rehabilitation, distribution of seeds and farming tools and community centres.   Beneficiaries included women, students, project implementation committee units (CPIU) and village elders. We met them in groups to make sure we cover as many beneficiaries as possible. As we have done with all the other beneficiaries, we explained in detail how the beneficiary SMS feedback system works, gave them a demonstration by sending an SMS that returned an automated reply. They welcomed the idea and liked that they had a direct access to the Hargeisa office where they can send their feedback any time of the day. The meetings were interactive with beneficiaries asking a lot of questions. 
In Qolbulale village, located on the Somaliland and Ethiopia border, we met Tawakal Women's Association, an active women’s group advocating on issues of education, health, sanitation, and development. This was the only village where we met an organised and active women’s group. We interviewed the chairman of the association, Ms. Koos Aden. She told us that CDRD project has supported Qolbulale residents and women in particular, by building public toilets and distributing food, farming tools, and rehabilitating of 4 water tanks. She has expressed her gratitude for these much needed services which have contributed to the wellbeing of all the residents but she called on CDRD to do more during the winter season by providing humanitarian assistance. In winter, the village suffers acute water and food shortages, sanitation problems and they need animal vaccination to save their livestock.

To manage beneficiaries’ expectations from DRC we emphasized that we will definitely pass on their requests and concerns to DRC, but emphasized that the feedback system is more than requesting for further assistance and we would like to hear details of how previous projects have contributed to their lifestyles. To give them examples of kinds of helpful feedbacks we are looking for, we have shared some SMSes received from beneficiaries in El-Afweny, Odweyne and Qardho regions, which included detailed SMSes of how particular projects have affected beneficiaries’ lives and some complaints, which help improve project delivery and strengthen the relationship between DRC and beneficiaries.

No comments:

Post a Comment