Adado herders return to villages after clearing waste from pastures

Tuesday, January 3, 2023 (ERGO) – About 2,500 pastoralist households are returning to their villages in central Somalia’s Adado after the native authority launched new measures to forestall waste being dumped on pastures.

Abdi Hassan Ali and his household together with 5 youngsters have returned to their small tin home after a 12 months and a half away.

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“It’s a huge difference now,” he mentioned. “Today it is better, holes have been dug to bury and burn the waste. The area is clean now. The cattle used to feed on the plastic waste and die.”

He advised Radio Ergo that he misplaced 21 goats after consuming plastic waste. He moved away along with his household and herd to the village of Qaradhi, 20 kilometers away. He’s comfortable to have returned to a cleaner surroundings along with his 80 goats.

“We are prepared to cooperate with the new administration to keep the area clean. No one can live near contaminated waste, it’s a danger to livestock, children get sick and it’s bad for the whole environment, he says.

Abdi also works as a porter on construction sites to supplement the livelihood from his cattle.

Isse Hussein Mohamed returned to the village of Laamo-gaabo near Adado. He said he lost 40 goats towards the end of 2021 after they ate waste that had been dumped.

He migrated with his remaining goats in January 2022 to Bawda-dogore, 25 kilometers away, and returned after hearing about the measures taken by the local authorities.

“When I heard that the waste had been cleared, I felt good and that’s when I decided to come back. There were no trees left in the area before. So I am very happy to return to our home, he says.

As the plastic waste took a toll on the livestock, Isse turned to odd jobs to support his family of eight, sometimes working as a porter and unloading goods from trucks for $6 a day. He hopes pastoralism will be revived if the environment remains clean and they receive rain.

Adado’s local authorities have designated waste dumping sites north of the city, where pits have been dug to burn waste. A local company organizes the disposal process. Adado Mayor, Farah Diriye Warsame, said the administration has been working with local people including students to clean up the town. They have also initiated campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of uncontrolled waste.

“We have now a detailed collaboration with the individuals and particularly the pastoralists. The waste poses hazards to individuals. We have now requested individuals to be careful for vans dumping waste illegally and to notice and report their license plates, says the mayor.

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