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Somalia: Puntland’s president launches new police station, other projects in Burtinle

The president of Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland on Saturday inaugurated a new police station in Burtinle town in the country’s Nugal region.

The construction of the police station was funded by Somalia Stability Fund, a multi-donor fund working towards a peaceful, secure and stable Somalia.

The new police station is expected to help the Puntland government improve public services as well as support peace and stability in the state.

The new facility will also ensure that police forces in the district have access to a decent and conducive working environment.

Speaking at the event, Puntland President Saed Abdullahi Deni said: “It is a great honour to be here with you today in Burtinle, the backbone of our state. I am really pleased with the progress this town has made. This progress was achieved through the joint efforts of the public and the district administration

“I would like thank Burtinle residents and the people of Puntland… for their hard work in helping this and other towns move forward.”

President Deni also launched a number of other development projects in Burtinle, including a new link road and office blocks for use by the district administration.

Burtinle is one of the fastest-growing towns in Somalia’s Puntland region.






Population Services International (PSI): Creating public awareness on IYCF and pneumonia through radio

Optimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) ensures young children the best possible way to start life. Breast‐feeding is undoubtedly nature’s way of nurturing the child and creates bond between the mother and the child.

Child malnutrition, however, is a huge public health problem in Somalia, negatively affecting the growth, development and survival of young children. Many Somali children under the age of five have been affected by long term chronic and acute malnutrition and micro-nutrients deficiency.

Malnutrition has also put many young Somali children at a great risk of death from pneumonia.

To address the situation, Star Media Development Centre (SMDC) worked with Population Services International (PSI) to use media to promote and support IYCF activities.  SMDC carried out a media campaign, using radio Public Service Announcements (PSAs), to promote IYCF messages in Somalia.

In addition to breastfeeding, the campaign also focused on complementary feeding, feeding during illnesses, water, hygiene, sanitation and maternal nutrition.

The objective of this media campaign was to increase caregivers’ exposure to the necessary information and thus increase their knowledge of optimum infant and young child feeding practices.


Mercy-USA: WASH and nutrition support for vulnerable Somalis

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is a priority area under the Social and Human Capital Development pillar of the Government’s National Development Plan (NDP) – 2017-2019. The social and human development pillar aims to accelerate universal access to basic social services, build human capabilities and uphold the dignity of all people of Somalia. As such, it will contribute to the overall vision of the NDP, which is to “Enhance peace and stability, economic prosperity and national cohesion”.

In order to promote hygiene and raise awareness about good hygiene habits such as washing hands, using a toilet for defecation and adopting safe drinking water practices, SMDC, with the financial and technical support of Mercy-USA, worked on a campaign that led to development and broasdcasting of air radio programs and advocacy messages in the Somali language.

SMDC did this through putting on air interactive health messages on radio, which included telephone calls from listeners for questions or clarifications.

The shows also featured guests who are health experts with prior preparation on the topic of concern for each week.

The campaign’s aim was to change the age old habits and practices and raise awareness about the necessary behaviour changes to be made through communication, reaching millions of Somalis with simple health messages.

It resulted in educating the Somali public and communicated to them key messages.

It also influenced the Somali people by encouraging them to adopt simple healthy habits that can prevent illnesses.


Care International: Intervention in hygiene promotion campaign through mass media

The lack of adequate sanitation facilities in Somalia usually affects school attendance especially for the girl-child and also results in school dropout. This leads to poor performance in schools.

In a bid to address the situation, SMDC worked with international humanitarian agency CARE to turn key messages to visuals through production of dramas related to hygiene best practices.

To execute the project, SMDC produced TV spots, ensured airing time on appropriate channels, introduced new ideas on the best way to promote the HBA agreed messages (e.g. theatre production, songs, music concerts, etc.) and ensured donor visibility.

We also worked on integrating the objectives of the hygiene promotion and other WASH projects

Through this project, SMDC played a significant role in spreading information and raising awareness on water and sanitation in Somalia.

For this project, came up with the visual designs for hygiene promotion messages through TV stations.

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Somalia: Barawe’s new modern airport to open soon

The construction of Barawe Airport in South West State of Somalia (SWS) is wrapping up and the facility is set to be opened soon.

The airport was launched by the SWS regional government with the technical and financial support of the Somalia Stability Fund (SSF).

It will serve the entire south west region and other Somali regions.

Finishing touches are being done.  A road linking the airport to the town has also been constructed.

The project is part of the Somali government’s strategic plan to build and rehabilitate critical infrastructure as the nation moves towards stability.

Barawe is the designated administrative capital of South West State.

The government says the airport will speed up the country’s recovery and is a sign of a bright future.

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Somali business owners participate in first-of-its-kind Kismayo Trade Fair

A trade fair organised by a leading Somali non-governmental organisation has taken place in Kismayo, the capital of the country’s southern Jubbaland regional state.

The African Development Solutions (Adeso Africa) facilitated the Kismayo Trade Fair, the first of its kind in the region, in partnership with the Jubbaland Ministry of Trade and Chamber of Commerce.

The fair took place under Adeso’s Enhancing Youth Employment (EYE) project.

The trade was aimed at strengthening “value chain opportunities for the communities targeted by the EYE project in existing and innovative ventures in productive sectors, Adeso Africa said.

The fair, which opened on 26 March, offered Somali businesses in Jubbaland a platform to promote their goods and services.

Participants drawn from Bardheere and Afmadow as well Kismayo took part in trade show.






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The Somalia Stabilization Initiative: Interactive theater for community & government interaction

The Somalia Stabilization Initiative (SSI) is working in Jubbaland State and South West State to help extend the presence of effective state authority in the regions and strengthen reconciliation initiatives.

Working with SSI,  Star Media Development Centre (SMDC) conducted an interactive theater in Warmahan, Wanlaweyn and Tixsiile in Somalia’s southern Lower Shabelle region  to help community members meet and share ideas irrespective of one’s economic, social, and political status in the society.

The theater was part of SSI’s efforts to support the office of the Lower Shabelle governor and the three communities to discuss common concerns in a creative way, and to also provide a platform for community and government interaction.

SMDC conducted a comprehensive interactive theater for the three communities through the use of radio drama, community interactive theater, PSAs, and radio Vox Pops.

SMDC conducted a two-day interactive theater in each of the three towns; Warmahan, Tixsiile, and Wanlaweyn (a total of 6 days) so as to create an interactive space to discuss common issues and concerns. The interactive theater included; public performances in a concert style format inclusive of plays, dramas, songs, poems, music etc.

SMDC also produced and disseminated five radio dramas from the interactive theater, five radio Vox Pops and five Public Service Announcements (PSAs) with participants drawn from youth, women, and regional and local administration officials.

We involved key local influential people to carry our message during the interactive theater and when producing the VOX POP and PSA to increase the number of people coming to the theater as well as the listener-ship.

Photo by Mustafa Ali

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Concerns raised over use of online live streaming

UK digital minister Margot James has raised concerns about the regulation of online live streaming in the aftermath of the New Zealand shootings, in which an alleged terrorist broadcast footage of an attack on two mosques live on Facebook.

James, whose department is preparing to unveil the government’s proposals on tackling online harms, said she was unhappy that footage of the attack, which could never be allowed on traditional television channels, was easily available on social media.

“The tragic events in New Zealand last week have highlighted more issues, not least the ease with which intrusive, deeply offensive and very harmful content which contravenes every known broadcasting standard could be broadcast with such ease to a global audience,” she said.

“During the first 24 hours after this tragedy Facebook now say they removed 1.5m videos,” she told the Oxford Media Convention. “1.2m were blocked at the point of upload – that’s good. That still left 300,000 shares unchecked for too long. The impact that has really does call into question the future of live streaming.”

New Zealand’s prime minster, Jacinda Ardern, has called for talks with Facebook about how the video was allowed to remain on its server for up to an hour after the attack and what it did to stop the spread of the footage. The original copy attracted hundreds of thousands of views in a short period of time before being removed, at which point it was repeatedly re-uploaded by other users.

Facebook took the unusual step of releasing statistics on the number of uploads it has had to deal with in the aftermath of the attack, while confirming it would remove all videos featuring any clips of the terrorist’s video, even if they do not show footage of the killings themselves.

James suggested platforms had a responsibility, especially around the livestreaming of events. Facebook’s Live video platform has gained a reputation for hosting videos of murders and suicides since it was introduced for all users in 2016.

She said the government’s policy on media regulation was to attempt to bring regulation of internet media in line with the systems applied to traditional media. She said: “There are limits to total freedom of expression which apply offline, which need to apply to online urgently.

“The respected and effective systems of self and statuary regulation – and high journalistic standards – that have always been applied to the verification and sources of story, is of course entirely absent from the online platform environment.”

Source: The Guardian