From soldier to businessman
Ali Mohamed Adan, a former soldier in the Somali military, and subsequently a member of the Puntland security forces, left his military training behind to start his own business when he failed to sustain his family on his meager stipend.
Back in his hometown of Qardho, Puntland, where job opportunities are scarce and his relatives could only provide him with limited support, Ali came across a small natural rain water catchment. He protected it, and started selling rain water to pastoralists and villagers during the rainy season. He could only make a little income from this water selling activity, since most of the water was lost by evaporation and infiltration.
‘When I heard about the UNDP’s project (Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration project), I was determined to find out what it could offer me’, said Ali, referring to UNDP’s efforts to counsel ex-security forces and facilitate their reintegration into civilian life.
He put his name on the list to be part of the project, and under the ‘Demob ID’ 3560 received containers from the local NGO implementing the project, to expand and improve his fresh water business. He now collects fresh rain water and provides his neighbors with much-needed fresh water for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing clothes. Every day, Ali sells around 20 liters of freshwater, to an average of 20 clients. He also supplies his family with fresh water. ‘Now my family has a future, and we can sustain our livelihood.’ He is thinking of expanding his business.