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Republic of Somaliland
Ministry of National Planning and Development


Sool and Sanaag regions have the worst access to education indicators in Somaliland. The two regions are located in the East of Somaliland, which is remote and difficult to access. In education, the main challenges stem from long-term inadequate resource allocations for maintenance of educational infrastructure, underpayment and shortage of qualified staff, and grossly insufficient educational materials and supplies.

To redress the situation, the Ministry of Education and Higher Studies has secured funding from the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) to re-activate the first secondary boarding school project in Dayaha and Las Anod. The project will improve access to secondary education services for the people of Sool and Sanaag through the construction and rehabilitation of education facilities, the reactivation of management systems, and the establishment of robust financing mechanisms, aimed at providing access to poor and marginalised pastoral communities. The project will also reduce gender inequality in access to education services through the provision of girl friendly boarding facilities, ultimately leading to improved quality of lives and reduced poverty of the people in the two regions.

After passing primary school examinations, pastoralist students are eligible for secondary education. So far, access to this secondary education has been elusive. Students move to Erigavo and other Somaliland regions for access to secondary education. Dayaha boarding school, close to Erigavo, was well known in the pre-war era for its high-quality education.

Amina Jama Dirie, aged 17, is one of the beneficiaries of the project. She is from an agro-pastoralist family in Gudmo-Biyacas village 90 km west of Erigavo.

Explaining how the project transformed her aspiration for secondary education, she said: “Amazingly, I have been enrolled in the historical Dayaha Boarding Secondary School. I never dreamed of gaining such a great learning opportunity. Dayaha Boarding School was one of the famous schools in Somaliland, and some of the current leaders of the country have graduated from this school.”

Last year, Amina and her young sister completed primary school examinations in Gudmo-Biyacas and now she is studying form one in Dayaha Boarding School.

“I was one of the first graduates of Gudma-Biyacas intermediate school. As there is no secondary school in our village and because of financial constraints, I was really disappointed to not attain secondary education.

Fortunately, after several months as Dayaha Secondary Boarding School is being rehabilitated, I faithfully enrolled at the school to continue my education with the tireless encouragement from my parents. Now I have free education with a full studying package and free accommodation. The study is currently providing me with good knowledge in 9 different subjects; I really have learnt a lot. I pray for those who donated the funds for rebuilding this school.

Ultimately, I would like to encourage other girls of my age to continue their study up to university level. To learn is always an advantage for your future.”

The Sool and Sanaag Education Project is funded by the Somaliland Development Fund. The SDF is a 4-year fund designed to support the Government of Somaliland (GoSL) filling a critical gap funding projects that are fully aligned to the National Development Plan (NDP). The SDF is currently funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and the Governments of Norway and The Netherlands.

The 38-year-old Mustafa from Debis, Sahil region, has been working in the forest almost every day for the last 20 years cutting trees to secure a living for his immediate and extended family. He has been increasingly anxious about the nature of his job. Now, Mustafa is back to the vicinity where he used to conduct his charcoal business, but this time is different: he is participating in the conservation of the forest, turning from “war on nature to savior” as a result of a forestry project, implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Rural Development.

Abdi Hashi, 53, agro-pastoralist, lives in Laalayska, a village in the Maroodijeh Upper Catchment area, about 24 km west of Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa. His home, a small hut, is located at the bottom of a hill on rough terrain overlooking the dry agricultural land of Mahbuubta area. Lack of water has turned the surrounding trees black and the soil dry. Rain has been sporadic over the recent years and the area is now experiencing a drought. Over the past years, persistent water scarcity, recurrent droughts and soil erosion have led to poor harvests from farms and killed many of the livestock he owned. Due to soil erosion and overgrazing, the little uncultivated land available has gradually turned into rough terrain and gullies formed in the eroded parts.

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