Fish for Nutrition
Title: Improving Food Security of the Vulnerable Population in Kismayo, Somalia through Access to Fishery Products
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Wasaaradda Arrimaha Gudaha Soomaaliya (Ministry of Interior and Political Affairs)
Overall term: 2017 to 2021
Somalia has the second longest coastline in Africa, stretching for more than 3,300 km. Despite an abundance of marine food resources, the country’s per capita consumption of fish is one of the lowest in the world.
Although fishing does not require any complex technology or equipment, catching and eating fish is still not common among Somalis, even though many of them are affected by food insecurity. The major challenges facing the fishing industry include a lack of sales opportunities, significant losses due to poorly handled fresh catches and the absence of cold chains. Moreover, there are very few guidelines or monitoring mechanisms regulating fishing and fish sales.
Better access to high-quality fishery products has improved the food security of returnees, internally displaced persons and the population of Kismayo.
The project supports returnees, internally displaced persons and the local population in equal measure. It is aligned with the goals of the national development plan and pursues three strategies:
- Media campaigns are raising awareness of the benefits of eating fish and practical knowledge is being passed on in cookery courses. The Ministry of Health is supporting health centres with nutritional advice.
- Fishermen, fisherwomen and fishmongers are receiving training and learning about processing and storing fish hygienically in order to increase the availability of fishery products.
- Infrastructure is being built to improve the availability and use of fishery products.
A broad-based campaign has reached over 175,000 people in Kismayo, informing them about the benefits of eating fish.
- Health care facilities have added new information on fish to their advisory materials.
- School-based nutritional campaigns have reached more than 9,000 pupils, teachers and parents – fish is now a regular feature in their lunches.
- 200 women have been trained in processing and preparing fish, and three quarters of them now include fish in their family’s diet. In addition, around 130 women have taken part in a commercial training scheme and a microfinancing programme. This has enabled 65 per cent of them to set up their own company or expand their existing one.
- 150 fisherwomen, fishermen and fishmongers have been trained in the effective use of cold chains, hygienic fish handling and fish processing.
- A database provides information about the species and the amount of fish caught in the region.
- A new fishing law was put forward in mid-2019.
- Newly developed glass fibre frames to dry large fish have quadrupled the number of fish dried hygienically.
- The construction of a fish market in Alanley is planned for 2020.