The first-ever fish cooking competition held in the southern Somali coastal city of Kismayo attracted more a dozen participants as part of an awareness campaign to significantly increase local fish consumption.

Participants from the city’s five neighbourhoods – Guul-wade, Farjano, Calanley, Fanoole, and Shaqaalaha -tried their hand at cooking fish in the competition held on 24 December 2018.

The contest, organised by Star Media Development Centre (SMDC), was won by Luul Mohamed Guure from Kismayo’s Alanley neighbourhood. She was awarded a prize consisting of a certificate and a trophy.

The contest was part of an effort by German development agency GIZ to raise awareness about the nutritional values of eating fish.

Alanley administrator Osman Farah Bando said participants were a role model for other women in Kismayo.

“You must now impart these skills you have acquired in others so that they can benefit as well,” he said.


Before the competition, several short radio dramas in Somali, TV and radio talk-shows, public service announcements and roadshows conducted by SMDC highlighted the nutritional values of fish, focusing on the benefits for returning refugees, internally displaced persons & vulnerable residents of Kismayo.

Although Somalia has the longest coastline in Africa, after Madagascar, fish consumption remains low and fish is not part of most people’s diet.

The awareness campaign, dubbed ‘Dish on Fish’, was aimed at encouraging families living in and around Kismayo to start including fish in their diets. The campaign was also aimed at raising awareness about the nutritional benefits of eating fish and appropriate methods for preparing and preserving fish among returning refugees, internally displaced persons & vulnerable residents of Kismayo.

The campaign caught the attention of the population and even encouraged beneficiaries and participants to change their eating habits.