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Time to showcase the resilience of Somali Youth

22nd, October 2017
By Mohamud Haji Elmi

It was on Saturday, October the 14th when a planned terrorist attack - a lorry mounted with explosives exploded in the middle of a heavily populated junction in Mogadishu known locally Zope. The incident was the worst explosion in the living memories of many Somali’s watching from the distance as the sky was covered a cloud of smokes, claiming a death toll of 380 people and leaving many others injured.

The next day reports say the survivors began to plan how to reconstruct the city, which indeed they did. The Mayor of Mogadishu immediately appeared at the scene of the catastrophe and spoke to the people not to give up rebuilding their homes and collecting the fragments of debris left behind after the blast.

Dimensions of Resilience

Our definition, which draws from many various disciplines and takes a more holistic and interdependent approach. Suggests “resilience is the ability of a community and the biophysical systems upon which they depend, to:

=      Resist or absorb the impact of deaths, damage and losses of either terror attack or natural disasters;

=      Rapidly recover from those impacts;

=      Reduce future vulnerabilities through adaptive strategies”

Communities can reduce their vulnerability to disaster and terrorist attacks by becoming more resilient – to not only bounce back from disasters more readily but to grow stronger, more socially cohesive and more environmentally responsible. In this article, I want to describe an inclusive process for creating disaster-resilient communities.

We need an Inclusive Effort

Disasters are not one-time events. Although certainly, some communities are more vulnerable than others, disasters are not a matter of it; they are a matter of when and what. Planning for hazards cannot and should not be the sole responsibility of emergency managers. Emergency managers are well equipped to address preparedness and response functions, but they are ill-equipped for mitigation and recovery, the other two stages of disaster management, and the ones that take place between disasters

The young generation expressed their attitude that they are capable of surviving such difficult conditions and are becoming more resilient, they lined up streets across many cities in Somalia showing no fear. This is a historic moment for our country that people are realising the truth and not accepting slow death which continues so long but instead prefers to prepare themselves against any enemies of their nation.” I am ready to become a soldier and defend my country” says a young boy among the crowd gathered in Belet Weyn city.

Cutting the branches of a tree every day doesn’t mean that you (Alshabaab) finished the job the way you want, Somali people are like deep-rooted trees and are strong enough to resist all difficult situation

Knowing Your Community

It is difficult to build a resilient community if there is no understanding of current conditions within it. In other words, you can’t get where you want to go without knowing where you are. Knowing your community means understanding the complex interconnected community is an emergent system with an almost endless network of interactions, mainly biophysical, human, and environmental.  

On the evening of the following Wednesday night, I participated at an event in London in which we were sharing the grief and sorrow of those who lost their loved ones in the Mogadishu blast which. It was a highly organised and every one expressed how their sorrow whilst remembering the loss of humans and business buildings within few hours.

We listened to the voice to the Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre via mobile who explained fully the incident and described how things happened, followed by the Mayor of Mogadishu and Governor of the Banadir region Mr Thabit Abdi Mohamed who shared his condolences with us.

Mohamud Haji Elmi Gure
London UK
[email protected]

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