Friday, October 13, 2017

Helping Somaliland is not just about food aid!

I am packing and about to leave to Somaliland, this time not as usual to Hargeisa, but on my way to Sheikh Veterinary school (ISTVS) where I will be teaching an introductory training to geographical information systems (GIS).

We have all recently seen the images from hungry pastoralists in the news, NGO fundraising and facebook campaigns. It is great that people support immediate food help to people who need it most, but it remains just a short term intervention that does not really allow this young country to develop.

This movie shows how the European Union has invested in the veterinary school i am going to in order to build up local skills and competences for the livestock sector, that represents at least 60% of Somalilands' GDP. Now you are probably wondering what GIS has to do with livestock? Many livestock diseases are depending on the biophysical context. Even in small countries like Somaliland not the same interventions are needed in all parts. Also livestock is moving, starting to plan land use, optimize the route and the veterinary post will become more and more important, but no one has the basic skills to do some simple geographical planning.
So we have been asked to give an introductory training next week. So remain posted, more about Somaliland will come soon.

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