Fish for Nutrition

Project description

Title: Improving Food and Nutrition Security of Vulnerable Populations in Kismayo, Somalia, through Access to Fishery Products
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Somalia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Interior and Political Affairs
Overall term: 2017 to 2021

Traditionelle Anlandung von Fisch in Kismayo


Somalia is the country with the second longest coastline in Africa, stretching for more than 3,330 km. Despite an abundance of marine resources, the country’s per capita consumption of fish is one of the lowest in the world. Although tuna, mackerel, lobsters and shrimps can be caught without the use of sophisticated fishing techniques, fishing and eating fish are traditionally not common among the Somalian population. This is particularly surprising as Somalia is one of the most food insecure countries in the world, and fish would be relatively easy to access for large sections of the population.
Other challenges, which make the situation even more difficult, include a lack of market outlets for fish, significant post-catch losses due to poor handling, and the lack of a cold chain. Moreover, there are no political guidelines, regulations or monitoring mechanisms in place, so that illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activity is widespread. This results in serious economic losses and further reduces the availability of fish to the local people.


Better access to fishery products has improved the food and nutrition security of returning refugees, internally displaced persons and vulnerable residents in Kismayo.

Somalia Fisch 2


All project measures apply equally to internally displaced persons in Somalia, voluntary returnees from Kenya and vulnerable local residents.
The project pursues a threefold strategy in line with the government objectives defined in the national development plan.

  • Media campaigns and supporting measures raise awareness about the nutritional benefits of eating fish and appropriate methods for preparing and preserving fish.
  • The availability of fishery products increases by improving processing, preserving and marketing.
  • Counselling centres provide advice on nutrition to mothers with infants and pregnant women. Markets with sales outlets for fish products are being developed.

GIZ works closely with local and international organisations as well as government institutions when implementing the measures.

Somalia Fisch 1


Following successful training and awareness campaigns, the fish markets and quays are more hygienic. This also ensures the availability of fresh fish products. Thanks to targeted cooperation with private companies, fishers in Kismayo are offered ice at production cost to cool their catch. Initial measures to promote fish consumption have caught the attention of the population and even encouraged older people to change their eating habits. The fisheries working group launched by GIZ is an example of putting the principle of effective help to practice. This working group brings together representatives of responsible authorities, NGOs and other development partners to create strategies, coordinate their own activities, improve efficiency and foster synergies through targeted consultation.
The project is integrated into existing international coordination structures such as the Somalia NGO Consortium, to ensure that possible synergies are leveraged and sustainable effects achieved. The fisheries working group is leading the transitional aid project in the food security cluster in Kismayo. The project, headed by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, is thus coordinating the activities of all international and local actors involved in the sector.

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