Newly reconstructed school and health facility handed over to South West State
In a bid to address the basic needs of the local population, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Monday handed over a newly constructed school and a health facility, together with an assortment of medical equipment to the South West State Administration. The school and the Mother and Child Health (MCH) centre were handed over at a ceremony in Baidoa, the capital of South West State, attended by top AMISOM and South West State officials. The facilities at the newly relocated Hannan Two Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Baidoa, were constructed by AMISOM under its Quick Impact Projects (QIPs), following a request by the South West State Administration. Both facilities will serve the 260,000 residents of the IDP camp. The Head of AMISOM Civil Affairs Unit, Dr. Opiyo Ododa, noted that both projects were aimed at improving service delivery and stressed the centrality of education and health to development of a nation and wellbeing of the local community. “We consider education as a key element in the development of any nation and therefore providing a facility that will help the children of Somalia go to school is important for us as AMISOM,” Dr. Ododa said. He added, “We have also given a health facility that will help mothers in delivering children, and this facility will make health be delivered closer to the people.” The health facility comprises a main ward, stabilization room and immunization rooms, storage facility, an additional specialized and sanitary facilities, while the school has five class rooms, a child friendly space, an office and sanitary facilities that will greatly enhance the provision of education and medical services to the IDPs. AMISOM Civil Engineer, Andrew Alele, said that the projects were implemented in the area to address the needs of the local community and hailed the local leadership for the cooperation. “We had very good cooperation in identifying the land and space for putting these two very important facilities, this is a very good example of what cooperation and coordination can achieve,” Alele noted. Abdullahi Ali Watin, the Director of the South West State Presidency thanked AMISOM for the timely gesture, noting that the projects will boost access to education and health for the IDP community, particularly maternal health. “I am happy today to attend the inauguration ceremony for the opening of two facilities, the health post and education center in Hannan two area, as you can see the area is very concentrated with the IDPs in Baidoa, it will give access to education and health for the vulnerable communities in Baidoa. This hospital will ease access to health care, especially for expectant mothers and for those with young children,” he said. South West State Minister of Health, Mohamed Haji Osman, said access to education and health facilities has always been a challenge for IDP communities. “Previously, it was difficult for pregnant women to reach the health centers at night as the area is far from the town but now that we have this hospital in the area, thanks to AMISOM, the ministry promises to bring qualified staff to work day and night to deliver service to the communities in Hannan.” Also present during the handover was AMISOM Sector 3 Commander, Brigadier General Zewdu Setargie, who appreciated the cooperation and support of the Baidoa Community to AMISOM activities over the years. AMISOM has been implementing QIPS in several liberated areas to support communities with basic social services to alleviate hardships. The projects undertaken by AMISOM include schools, health facilities, water wells, free medical care, construction and renovation of Police stations and many others.