ENHANCING COMMUNITY COHESION THROUGH CONSTRUCTION OF MULTIPURPOSE CENTER.
By Deegaan Bile Project in Bilcil village of Abudwaq district
The community of Bilcil village in Abudwaq district agreed to co-fund the construction of a multi-purpose community center after extensive and participatory community consultation. When the borehole is completed, the center will be owned collectively and run by women groups who have been identified as beneficiaries for the goat business and fodder production.
The Village is one of the hardest hits by the climate-induced and resource-based conflict. Most of the community lost their livestock and were displaced to Abudwak, where some of the displaced joined the IDPs and others integrated with the host community. Women, children, and the elderly are particularly hard hit by the loss of a source of income.
Bilcil is approximately 9 kilometers from Abudwaq town and less than that distance from the Ethiopian border. Some residents from Bilcil collect firewood from rural areas and sell it to the town for a living, exacerbating climate change and increasing conflict. It is a bad practice; nomadic pastoralists take it by force, and at least one young man from Bilcil was killed while collecting firewood. Furthermore, the practice has a negative impact on the environment; in response, the Deegan Bile project is creating alternative livelihood sources for women; in addition, the community prioritized the construction of a multipurpose hall with funding from both the community and Deegan Bile.
The women's goat business, fodder production, the borehole, and the center's construction are all linked; the entire package is a positive response to climate change and the suffering it causes. The goat business will suffer if proper fodder storage is not provided, and the community will hold conflict resolution and other important social events in the hall. The fridges in one of the rooms will be used to store milk before it is transported to Abudwak.
Bilcil has expressed a strong desire to contribute to the Deegan Bile matching grant project, which supplements funds raised by the community at a predetermined ratio. The community has no prior experience initiating, co-financing, or financing projects, but they have demonstrated that the concept is appropriate for them. Bilcil community proposed a meeting hall, three rooms to keep animal products (milk, etc.), to use as classrooms and fodder storage for the matching grant with Deegaan Bile project. The expected community contribution is $5,000, with the project matching up to $30,000. As a result, the community project's total initial cost will be $35,000. Due to the catastrophic and recurring cycles of deadly drought, the matching grant ratio is more than the ceiling.