Female soldiers serving in the Kenyan contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have launched an initiative to support families affected by drought in southern Somalia.
On Friday the troops distributed rice, sugar, beans, biscuits, fruit and other food items to about 150 households. Most of the beneficiaries were widows, orphans, and the elderly.
The commander of the AMISOM Kenyan contingent, Brig. Gen. Dickson Ruto oversaw the distribution. Brig. Gen. Ruto said that his contingent would partner with community-based organisations to deliver food and medical services to families in need.
He added that the AMISOM female troops would jointly implement the initiative with their female counterparts in the Somali National Army (SNA) and Jubbaland state security forces.
“There is a serious drought across Somalia. It is important that we focus on the less privileged, particularly widows, orphans, and internally displaced persons who don’t have enough food at this very critical moment,” said Brig. Gen. Ruto.
The Administrator of Dhobley Town, Siyad Mohamed Hassan was grateful for the initiative, and called for more cooperation between AMISOM and local authorities in order to secure and help develop the area.
“We request that such efforts should not stop here. We should collaborate and participate in other areas such as public health and sanitation, sports, education, and rehabilitation of our roads,” added Siyad.
Nimo Abdi Bule, a member of the Daryeel Women’s Group in Dhobley and herself a beneficiary, said, “We are thankful to Allah, and appreciate the assistance from AMISOM.”
Capt. Lynette Rachi, who commanded the females within the AMISOM Kenyan contingent said the food donation would offer relief to vulnerable families, especially mothers, affected by the drought conditions.
“At the end of the day, all that a mother needs is to put food on the table for her children. So, the little we were able to get from the AMISOM headquarters, we were happy to share and have a great day together,” said Capt. Rachi.