Prior to the distribution of water quality monitoring kits, IOM organized three training sessions in Baidoa, Kismayo and Mogadishu to train participants from Water Ministries across Somalia on using the monitoring kits. All participants of the training received a certificate of successfully participating in the training.

In Kismayo, one of the participants was Abdifatah. He was invited by IOM to participate in the training and he immediately decided to sign up. His concern for water in the region was the most important reason to join: “I know that many people take and drink untreated and untested water, which is very unhealthy and can cause diseases”. During the training he learned a lot about how to test water quality. An important lesson he learned was that water that looks physically clean can still be polluted. He is hoping that distributed kits will improve the water quality monitoring, lead to the creation of risk analysis and in the end, increase the quality of the water in Jubaland, and specifically Kismayo town. Abdifatah is happy with what he learned. “I hope I can create awareness in my surrounding and at the Ministry on the importance of water quality monitoring. I look forward to instructing the water users and committees on how to conduct simple tests”

Abdikadir Abukar Gacal has been working with the Ministry of Energy and Water Resource of Federal Government of Somalia for the last five years, as part of the Water Quality Monitoring team. With a diploma in public health focusing on WASH-related topics, he is especially passionate about the technical aspects of managing water. He decided to participate in the training to learn how to operate the water quality monitoring kit. “The reason I joined this training was to build my knowledge of water quality testing and how to be able to implement what I have learned. I look forward to support my community through this kit, and help them getting safe water.” He explained that most Somalis have no other option than to drink unclean water from shallow boreholes, surface water, springs, berkeds (cement catchments) and ballis (earth catchments). With urbanization in Somalia inevitably leading to an increased demand for water, he is concerned that it will cause further draining of aquifers.

Abdikadir and the other participants are now able to use the equipment and test water on bacteria and harmful chemicals. The participants are ready to transfer the skills they have earned to other staff at the Ministry.

The training was organized by the IOM WASH team, through funding from the African Development Bank.