The USAID Somali Youth Livelihoods Program is providing Somali youth with a livelihood opportunity, while increasing access to safe drinking water in this arid area. The USAID youth program is locally known “Shaqodoon” which means job seeker in Somali. It is implemented by Biofit, a Somali NGO in Garoowe, Puntland.
As part of the program, more than 350 Somali youth have launched their own businesses—manufacturing and selling easy-to-use, affordable, and long-lasting water treatment filters to members of their community.
Two of those youths, Mohamed and Said, have been trained in the production and sales of Biofit filters in Bari region, northern Somalia. After the training, they formed a team for production. According to Mohamed, “Our target is to manufacture four units per month, and make a net income of $100.” Mohamed proudly noted that they have already received three orders, and are expecting more.
Karon and her children use Biofit filters for clean water.
Karon is a 37-year old mother living with her three children in Camp Tawakal, a camp for internally displaced persons in Bossaso, northern Somalia. Water in the camp is precious, and Karon knew the consequences of her children drinking contaminated water. To buy 12 litres of purified water a day from local factories, she used to spend daily 12,000 Somali shillings (about US$0.30)—20% of her total income. Karon was among the first people to use the Biofit filters. She expects to pay for the filters within three months.
The water filter project of the Shaqodoon program is not only providing the community with clean and affordable drinking water: it is also benefitting youth, who are able to generate their own income.