Tiny oasis keeping hope alive in land ravaged by drought and starvation
As goats grazed on pieces of spinach and cows languished under the shade of trees, Maryan Hudun surveyed her farm contentedly.
Despite drought ravaging much of east Africa, her little corner of Somaliland is still bearing fruit, thanks to the support of the charity ActionAid.
Ms Hudun owns a small farm in Ceel-Giniseed, a village about an hour’s drive west of the Somaliland capital Hargeisa, running it on her own since her husband died in 2010.
Labourers till the fields ready for crops, and there is plenty already growing – spinach, peppers, onions, water melons and cabbages, as well as groves of oranges, lemons and limes.
Three years of drought has left the fields less fertile, and the yields from her land have fallen dramatically.
But irrigation from a shallow well means Ms Hudun can still make a living, selling her produce in local towns and villages so she can pay her staff and send her children to school.
But ActionAid stepped in, building a sand dam to protect the water levels, shoring up the riverbank with a stone embankment and repairing her damaged well.
Speaking through a translator, Ms Hudun said: ‘ActionAid regularly supported me and improved my farm.
Ahmed Mohamoud, who works for ActionAid, said: ‘These people are less affected by the drought because of projects which have been implemented here that increases or improves their livelihood.
‘Even in the drought, some of them are still farming their farms as they have shallow wells.