The Yme Fountation cooperates with the Norwegian Foreign Ministry to avert the humanitarian disaster that threatens Somalia. Floods , refugees and Al Shabaab are giving the country major challenges.

– Disasters are lining up in Somalia , says Geir Helge Ommundsen , CEO of Foundation Yme.

– El Niño is a weather phenomenon that can cause both floods and droughts . Furthermore, a flow of returned refugees from Yemen and Kenya will be the cause of major social conflicts and trigger humanitarian needs. And on top of that you have the threat from Al Shabaab .

Yme is now working to facilitate so that Somalia can be able to handle the increasing flow of refugees . Ommundsen points out that flood control and repair of irrigation canals is extremely important to prevent major floods and to initiate the production of food. The population must also be ensured clean drinking water.



Last week the CEO Geir Helge Ommundsen met with the section for Humanitarian Affairs in the Foreign Ministry. At the meeting was also a representative from the environmental department of the Foreign Ministry.

– It is with great pleasure that we have got to know that the ministry wants to strengthen cooperation with Yme when it comes to water in Somalia . In addition to continuing the very important efforts to drill wells to provide drinking water , the Yme focus even more on flood protection and repair of irrigation canals for irrigation of crops .

Geir Arne Schei at the Ministry section for Humanitarian Affairs , said that water is one of three focus areas Norway has in Somalia .

– In this connection Yme is a key partner . The foundation`s  work has been evaluated both in 2011 and 2015 , and Yme comes out very well , says Schei .



Yme will during the fall in 2015 make a larger geographical mapping of the River Shabelle that runs through much of Somalia. Earlier this year they collected and cataloged all available documents about the river and the surrounding area in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Nairobi. This information is important in dealing with flood protection.

In 2014 Yme rehabilitated several old canals in the city Beletweyn.

– To prevent flooding from the great river Shabelle, which is flooded every year, is something we want to work with now, says general manager Yme, Geir Ommundsen.

– We must get control of flood water and ensure good irrigation for the farmers along the Shabelle River. This area is extremely important to ensure food production for the population and the flow of returned refugees. Earth is poor and there will also be a large demand for fertilizer to bring up soil quality, says Ommundsen.

Environment Department of the Foreign Ministry that were present at the meeting expressed great concern about the weather phenomenon El Niño that this year is feared to be harder than ever, and can cause both floods and drought in Somalia.

One of the canal bridges renovated by Yme in Beletweyn in 2015

One of the canal bridges renovated by Yme in Beletweyn in 2015