In March 2014 the Somali National Army, working alongside AMISOM forces, liberated Warsheikh district from Al Shabaab. Warsheikh is a historically-important coastal district located 60 kilometres north of Mogadishu in the Middle Shabelle region of Somalia. Warsheikh has cemeteries of many Somali Sufi Saints and traditionally was home to numerous Sufi Scholars who enjoyed the respect and love of the Warsheikh community and the whole of Somalia.
As one of the newly liberated districts, a temporary, caretaker administration for Warsheikh was formed through a district structure consisting of District Commissioner (DC), Vice-DC and a Police Commissioner. In May 2014, coordinating with the Ministry of Interior and Federalism (MoIF), the Warsheikh DC was one of the district officials to participate in the caretaker administration training programme.
Following a joint planning session in Mogadishu with the Stability Fund and USAID-funded TIS programme, in June 2014, along with officials of the MoIF, we visited Warsheikh district to carry out a preliminary assessment.
During our sessions with the Warsheikh community and district administration several priorities were identified. Support to foster economic growth was prioritised, as well as basic services. And so, in addition to support for the local fishing industry, provision of safe drinking water and solar street lighting were selected for immediate investment.
The Stability Fund and MoIF, together with Warsheikh District Administration, is signing a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise agreement on the support to be provided in Warsheikh district. Now it is time for the real work to begin: drilling boreholes, providing equipment to fishing cooperatives and installing solar streetlights will be our focus over the next several months.