Ethiopia. Hawey, fled from the conflict, feels safe now in the Mersha camp
18-01-2023 | di COOPI

Ethiopia. Hawey, fled from the conflict, feels safe now in the Mersha camp

Hawey Mohamod has 7 children, 2 boys and 4 girls, but has no income except that of her husband who is involved in small farming activities in the village. Hawey, together with her family, lives in the displaced camp in Mersha, Ethiopia: this area has been seriously affected by numerous conflicts between armed rebel groups and federal military forces for almost two years. The continuous clashes have caused enormous hardship to the resident population, who have been forced to leave and settle in the nearby town of Negele. The situation continues to be delicate and unpredictable, but over time it has relatively improved and displaced people have begun to return to the neighbourhood, finding that everything they owned was now destroyed. 

Hawey says:

When the conflict reached its peak, we heard that houses were being burnt down and people were being attacked. We decided to flee and settle with relatives in the town of Negele for a while until the situation improved. In the rush, I left everything I had, including my cattle.

After three months, they managed to return to Mersha, as the area was much safer, but due to the conflict, their house and possessions were destroyed. In addition, their land was unusable and the planting season had passed, they did not have enough food available, so they looked for support in the displaced camp in Mersha.

COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale has been active in this area since May 2021 with the project "Integrated Emergency Assistance for WASH, Shelter & NFIs targeting Conflict and Disaster Affected Populations in Ethiopia" funded by the European Union (Humanitarian Aid - ECHO), which provides a multi-sectoral intervention to address the needs of displaced populations and host communities. The main objective is to provide decent housing solutions for the conflict-affected populations, ensuring proper hygienic conditions and constant access to water.

Hawey tells us:

COOPI provided us with shelter, essential household utensils such as sheets, blankets, a kettle, soaps, and more. This helped us to survive at the most difficult time.

Essential household utensils and bedding have served Hawey and his entire family so well that they have managed to minimise their dependence on neighbours and relatives for basic necessities.

Hawey concludes:

Now I feel safe. I don't know how long this situation will remain stable, but at least I have a house here, school will start soon, we will be provided with school materials and my children will start learning.