Yesterday, Mogadishu Mayor, H.E. Eng. Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng. Yarisow) sat and listened to displacement affected families express their hopes and aspirations to finding durable solutions to their protracted displacement in Mogadishu. This first of many consultations took place in Kaxda District where the Mayor led a roundtable discussion with displacement affected communities (DACs). Participants included Yemeni refugees, refugee returnees from neighboring countries, internally displaced from other regions in the country and host community.
“The goal of these consultations is to get a better understanding of their living situation and provide them with the opportunity to take part in the decision making process that directly affects their lives,” says Mayor Yarisow.
Families called for an urgent response to priorities that ranged from adequate housing, health and access to quality education. Many families raised concerns of forced evictions and lack of tenure security as a constant disruption to their lives.
“We ask the mayor to ensure that we are protected and that all levels government and the Somali public, especially those in Mogadishu, take special care towards their brothers and sisters suffering from displacement.” (IDP, Kaxda)
After the round table discussions, Benadir Regional Administration held a football tournament for over 40 young people from the larger Kaxda community with the objective of promoting social cohesion between displaced and host communities.
H.E. Yarisow instructed young people to take lead in advocating for themselves, their families and their needs.
“Young people are Somalia’s future and I encourage young people to work closely with our administration on finding the best solution for IDPs.”
The Mayor noted that over 75% of Somalia’s population are youth who are mostly unemployed and unequipped with the necessary skills to compete in the global economy. Most internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in unplanned and informal settlements in Mogadishu and about 55% of them are concentrated in two of Mogadishu’s peripheral districts.
With the second highest urban growth rate in the world, protracted internal displacement in Mogadishu becomes an inherently urban phenomenon and must be addressed against a backdrop of increasing urbanization and growing rural-urban migration trends.
The administration believes sporting activities are good for community integration, creating direct interaction between youth from both DAC and host community.
The Mayor directly engaged DACs, listened to their priority needs and spoke on plans to create a channel of communication for their future concerns and contributions – reassuring them that the regional priorities will include their suggestions.
“I have listened to your needs. My administration will closely work with the Durable Solutions Unit to ensure all your needs are met.”.