UNSOM / HARGEISA FIRE AFTERMATH

19-Apr-2022 00:06:04
On a visit to Hargeisa a senior United Nations official pledged the world body’s support for efforts to rebuild the Waheen marketplace which was recently destroyed in a blaze. UNSOM

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STORY: UNSOM / HARGEISA FIRE AFTERMATH
TRT: 06:04
SOURCE: UNSOM
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNSOM ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /SOMALI / NATS

DATELINE: 18 APRIL 2022, HARGEISA, SOMALILAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, boarding the plane at Aden Abdulle International Airport in Mogadishu
2. Med shot, Abdelmoula, boarding the plane
3. Med shot, Abdelmoula, boarding the plane
4. Wide shot, plane flying
5. Close up, Abdelmoula, reading notes on the plane
6. Wide shot, Abdelmoula, alighting from the plane at Egal International Airport in Hargeisa
7. Wide shot, convoy of visiting UN delegation
8. Wide shot, convoy of visiting UN delegation arriving at the Waheen market
9. Med shot, Abdelmoula, welcomed and accompanied by a delegation led by the Deputy Mayor of Hargeisa Khadar Ahmed Omar tour the site of the fire
10. Pan left, Abdelmoula, tours the site of the fire in
11. Pan right, section of the destroyed Waheen market
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Adam Abdelmoula, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia:
“I am here primarily to reassure our partners in the government of Somaliland, civil society, the business community and all those affected, that the UN is here, and we are in this together.”
13. Wide shot, Omar interacts with Abdelmoula, during a guided tour of the destroyed Waheen market
14. Pan left, burnt shops and buildings at the Waheen market
15. Med shot, Senior Advisor to the President of Somaliland, Dr. Jama Musse Jama, speaks during a tour at the site of the fire
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Adam Abdelmoula, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia:
“For the first time, I can say that I'm very unhappy being in Hargeisa. I have never said this before. It looks like a war zone; what you see behind me is a devastated city. Hargeisa used to be a center of vibrancy, trade. It used to be a big hub. I recall over 20 years ago, even we in the UN system used to come from Nairobi to shop for some of the electronics from Hargeisa – and to see all of that which has been built by this resilient people for over 30 years ago go up in the smoke overnight is truly heartbreaking.”
17. Wide shot, delegation led by Abdelmoula, touring the site of the fire
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Adam Abdelmoula, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia:
“In the medium-term, we will continue to partner with the government and with the municipality to see to it that the UN contributes the technical input that is required for the designing of a fire-resistant, state-of-the-art, modern market that is compliant with the best safety standards.”
19. Wide shot, convoy of visiting UN delegation arriving at the Ministry of Planning and National Development
20. Med shot, Abdelmoula walks into the Ministry of Planning and National Development building
21. Wide shot, Abdelmoula, walks in and greets the Minister of Planning and National Development Hon. Omar Ali Abdillahi
22. Wide shot, Abdelmoula speaks during a meeting with Abdillahi and his delegation
23. Med shot, Abdelmoula speaks during a meeting with Abdillahi and his delegation
24. Med shot, Abdelmoula speaks during a meeting with Abdillahi and his delegation
25. SOUNDBITE (English) Adam Abdelmoula, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia:
“This is an opportunity for the rethinking of not only building back better, but also for looking at the other markets, which I understand are equally congested, and how can we decongest them, how could we use this opportunity to improve things and do so in a way that that would ensure safety, but also sustainability to incorporate best practices.”
26. Med shot, delegation led by Abdelmoula listens in during a meeting with Abdillahi and his delegation
27. Wide shot, Abdillahi speaks during a meeting with Abdelmoula
28. Close up, Abdelmoula, listens as Abdillahi speaks during a meeting
29. Med shot, delegation from the Ministry of Planning and National Development during a meeting with Abdelmoula
30. Pan left, Abdillahi speaks during a meeting with Abdelmoula
31. Wide shot, delegation led by Abdelmoula, leave the Ministry of Planning and National Development building
32. Wide shot, tractors clear up debris at the site of the fire
33. Med shot, tractors clear up debris at the site of the fire
34. Pan left, tractors clear up debris at the site of the fire.
35. SOUNDBITE (English) Adam Abdelmoula, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia: “Those are, by far, the most affected. So as soon as we are certain the numbers and the data get disaggregated, we will coordinate very closely with the government to see to it that the UN contributes to the alleviation of the suffering of the most affected.”
36. Wide shot, burnt down buildings and shops at the Waheen market
37. Med shot, burnt shop at the Waheen market
38. SOUNDBITE (Somali) Khadar Ahmed Omer, Deputy Mayor, Hargeisa
“The total loss of property and impact of the fire in the Waheen market has been estimated to be around $1.5 to $2 billion. So far, we have received less than $20 million and so we ask the world to help us in the reconstruction of the market as well as support to all those who lost property.”
39. Pan left, burnt down buildings at the Waheen market
40. Tilt down burnt down building at the Waheen market
41. Wide shot, burnt down buildings and shops at the Waheen market
STORYLINE
On a visit to Hargeisa on Monday (18 Apr), a senior United Nations official pledged the world body’s support for efforts to rebuild the Waheen marketplace which was recently destroyed in a blaze.

While visiting the ruins of the marketplace, UN Resident Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, said, “I am here primarily to reassure our partners in the government of Somaliland, civil society, the business community and all those affected, that the UN is here, and we are in this together.”

Located in central Hargeisa and spread out over five square kilometers, the Waheen marketplace was the largest market in Somaliland. It played a vital role in the local economy, with an estimated 5,000 businesses present, drawing sellers and shoppers from the city and surrounding communities. It is estimated that the market provided income for 17,000 merchants and workers and, taking their families into account, a total of around 136,000 people are directly affected.

Amidst the destruction, the UN official was shaken by what he saw and heard.

Abdelmoula, who also serves as the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative to Somalia and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said, “for the first time, I can say that I'm very unhappy being in in Hargeisa. I have never said this before. It looks like a war zone; what you see behind me is a devastated city. Hargeisa used to be a center of vibrancy and trade. It used to be a big hub. I recall over 20 years ago, even we in the UN system used to come from Nairobi to shop for some of the electronics from Hargeisa – and to see all of that which has been built by this resilient people for over 30 years ago go up in the smoke overnight is truly heartbreaking.”

Abdelmoula’s visit followed a week-long visit by a team of UN technical experts, who worked with the Somaliland authorities and the fire response committee, to assess the immediate, medium- and long-term support needed to help those affected by the blaze.

The UN team included staff from nine UN agencies, funds and programmes – the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN-Habitat, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), UN Women, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

The joint preliminary assessment was presented to international donor partners in a meeting held in Nairobi last week. The UN team and partners are continuing with the collection of data, while also jointly working on a more detailed assessment report with Somaliland partners.

While in Hargeisa, the UN Resident Coordinator met with the Minister of Planning and National Development, Omar Ali Abdillahi, to discuss the support. He offered UN technical assistance in the designing and rebuilding of a new and safer marketplace.

Abdelmoula said, “in the medium-term, we will continue to partner with the government and with the municipality to see to it that the UN contributes the technical input that is required for the designing of a fire-resistant, state-of-the-art, modern market that is compliant with the best safety standards.”

He added that the new marketplace would also be designed to be environmentally friendly, accessible to people with disabilities, and with facilities especially for women, while also blending with local culture and traditions.

Also. for the medium and longer-term recovery efforts, the UN senior official said the rebuilding of the market would help with lessons learned to be used in other parts of Hargeisa.

Abdelmoula said, “this is an opportunity for the rethinking of not only building back better, but also for looking at the other markets, which I understand are equally congested, and how can we decongest them, how could we use this opportunity to improve things and do so in a way that that would ensure safety, but also sustainability to incorporate best practices.”

In terms of more immediate support, he flagged that recovery planning to address the needs of the most vulnerable people affected by the blaze. These include daily wage-earners, small business owners, female-headed households, internally displaced people, people with disabilities, refugees, and minority groups.

Abdelmoula said, “those are, by far, the most affected. So as soon as we are certain the numbers and the data get disaggregated, we will coordinate very closely with the government to see to it that the UN contributes to the alleviation of the suffering of the most affected.”

He also noting the government had been providing cash handouts to some of those most in need.
While in Hargeisa, the UN senior official also met with Hargeisa’s Deputy Mayor, Khadar Ahmed Omer, and city councillors, as well as members of the response committee.

The deputy mayor said, “the total loss of property and impact of the fire in the Waheen market has been estimated to be around $1.5 to $2 billion. So far, we have received less than $20 million and so we ask the world to help us in the reconstruction of the market as well as support to all those who lost property.”

He added that a list had been finalized with around 5,000 people identified as victims who lost property in the inferno, and that there were many more affected people who were employed in businesses at the marketplace.

In addition to providing for the livelihoods of thousands of local residents, the Waheen marketplace was a significant source of revenue for the Hargeisa municipality, as well as for overall government revenue. Somaliland’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture estimates that the fire accounted for 40 to 50 per cent of the city’s economy.

According to Somaliland’s response committee established to lead the immediate relief efforts and planning for the market’s reconstruction. In addition, the destruction of so many goods has led to scarcity and inflation in Hargeisa.
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