Evictions in Bulo-Elay and Alkhayr IDP sites, Bossaso, Puntland state of Somalia
Date: 2022-05-10 Region: Bosasso, Puntland
On 5th and 7th May 2022, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) field team received reports from IDP camp leaders on the eviction of IDP communities residing in Bulo-Elay and Al-khayr IDP sites located in the East of Bossaso town, Bari region. According to the camp leaders, the landowner of the two plots of land sold the land without informing and notifying the affected households occupying the two sites. On the morning of 5th May, 2022, the affected households woke up to the new landowner marking and demarcating the land. The IDP communities were then informed that they only had two days to vacate the land. Some of the evicted households were living in the IDP sites for more than eight years, while others are newly drought displaced families that have resided in the sites in the past six months. The evicted households did not have any formal land tenure agreement with the previous landowner and primarily relied on an oral agreement. The new landowner gave the occupants a short notice and issued threats in case of failure to comply with the notice. According to the camp committees and leaders, the eviction has affected nearly 100HHs. After, a field visit from the NRC ICLA team, 83 vulnerable HHs (498 individuals) (33 HHs from Alkhayr & 50 HHs from Bulo-Elay) are left stranded within the IDP sites. These households lack sufficient income to relocate to alternative land with secure tenure. Only 15 HHs have joined their relatives who are living on another plot of land on the other side of Al khayr IDP site. Of the total households evicted, 31HHs are newly drought displaced families with the majority being women, children and girls. These households do not have any viable relocation option and are in dire need for urgent government and humanitarian interventions. So far, NRC is engaging the Bossaso local municipality to facilitate access to alternative land with secure tenure for affected families. Key observations made ----------------------- • Lack of adequate housing: Evicted households that have been stranded in the IDP sites are sleeping in open fields and under trees due to the lack of proper shelter. Some households are sleeping in the kitchens of other families, which poses key health and protection risks. • Disruption of education: Children that are affected by the evictions are not going to school due to the disruption caused by the incident and the resulting psychological impact such as lack of concentration and increased anxiety. • Food shortages: The prolonged drought in the region has led to food shortages in Bossaso and interrupted the feeding cycle of the local population. Furthermore, majority of the households stranded in the sites reported that they have nowhere to cook and have not eaten properly since the incident took place. • Lack of income: Newly drought displaced families have lost their livestock, which was their main source of income. This situation has forced women as the breadwinners of their households to take up negative coping mechanisms such as begging in the street to feed their children. • Inadequate Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities: Severe water scarcity has been reported in the IDP sites. The scarcity is in part due to humanitarian resource limitations as a result of inadequate funding. However, the dry conditions have exacerbated the water problem as many drought-affected IDPs have arrived in Bossaso, which has put pressure on limited resources. Inadequate sanitation facilities and lack of limited community awareness on hygiene and sanitation practices were also observed during the field visit. Humanitarian needs ------------------------- The evicted population are in urgent need of the following humanitarian interventions: • Post-eviction cash assistance • Shelter and Non-Food Items • Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services • Emergency Food Security and Livelihoods support • Access to land with security tenure arrangement in place “WE DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO MOVE AND LOOK FOR NEW LAND” Fatima is a mother of eight children. She is the breadwinner of her family as her husband is elderly and cannot provide for them, while two of her daughters are divorced single mothers. Fatima was displaced from South Central Somalia due to insecurity and conflict. Before the eviction incident that took place on May 5th, she was living in Alkayr IDP site for nearly a decade. “When I woke up that morning, I noticed something strange. I saw my landlord with another man measuring the plot of land and putting marks and demarcation signs. When I asked my landlord, he let me know that he had sold the land to the man and I had two days to vacate the premises. We did not have any time to move and look for alternative land. I was threatened and evicted. I am now homeless and I have not eaten well since the incident. I have nowhere to cook or go to work and my children are starving.” – Fatima Fatima dismantled her shelter mainly made of rags, cartons, iron sheet remnants, and wood with no idea of where she would move to. She and her family slept in an open field for two nights. Currently, she has joined her relative who is residing on another plot of land within the larger IDP site to reside temporarily. She has rebuilt her shelter on this land although she lives in fear of further eviction.
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