In the past several months of travel, one of the coolest places I’ve visited was just outside of Hargeisa, Somaliland. We have a food security project where we have piloted 600 household grain storage silos. They are one ton in capacity and are an excellent first step in creating a more food secure environment in Somaliland.
Traditionally grain is stored in underground pits in Somaliland. As you can see, the opening is small, but underneath it holds up to 25 tons of grain. Due to the size, children are the only ones who can crawl inside to retrieve the grain. Grain goes straight into the dirt, causing some immediate spoilage, and then there are rains, rats, and snakes to contribute to further losses.
The household silos have been very well received by families and the Ministry of Agriculture alike. We’ve worked with local artisans to train them to produce the silos locally, working to build skills and create a new market for the silos.
Traditional methods of grain storage are prone to aflatoxins that render the grain carcinogenic and unfit for consumption by humans and livestock alike.
These are the typical homes in rural areas of Somaliland. As you can see, it is a patchwork of whatever materials can be found. There are typically different dwellings for sleeping, cooking, etc.
This mama was very supportive of the silos, and wants more of them. When I asked about the possibility of sharing silos within a community, she was clear that she had no interest in sharing.
The silos remain amazingly cool for the temperature in Somaliland. From the ones I saw, that keep them under the shade of trees, or create shade by straw or other means.
Laid out is a traditional wedding cloth that they wanted to share with me. People were incredibly open and supportive. Days like this are when I’m so amazed with the work that I’m so very fortunate to do. Not only do I get to support these communities, but they in turn open their communities as well. What an incredible experience.