© 2017 Villagepump bv

  • Maarten Willems

The story of Abdisalam Ali

Near the town of Garowe in the Somali region of Puntland there are seven refugee camps, each populated by more than a thousand men, women and children. They fled to the relatively safe Puntland in 1991 for the violence during the civil war in East Somalia. They live very close together under poor, primitive and extremely unsanitary conditions.

One of the biggest concerns is the lack of sanitation. Diarrhea occurs frequently through the use of polluted water. In camp Shabeele, the Kaalo Nederland foundation (www.kaalonederland.org) together with financial support of Wilde Ganzen Foundation (www.wildeganzen.nl) has installed three hand-powered Villagepumps 500 (www.villagepump.org) for providing clean drinking water. Each unit provides up to 500 liter drinking water per hour. These water purification devices are the base of a water kiosk, a water distribution point for the population.

These water kiosk are run by women who first attend a Social Hygiene training. This training and the operation of the water kiosk are also part of this project.

Co-founder of the Kaalo foundation is Abdisalam Ali. He is one of those tens of thousands of refugees who have fled Somalia to the Netherlands in recent decades. He studied business economics and found a job at the municipality of Amsterdam.

A future in Somalia

Now Abdisalam feels responsible for the youth in Somalia. "Eight out of ten young people want to fly away just like me. But the borders of Europe are closed. It is important that they stay in Somalia and build their future there. "

With this project we can help some of the refugees in this relief camp in Somalia and we support them with a practical solution. Clean drinking water is vital for these people.