Earth Council partnership with International Medical Corps in Ethiopia

IMC UK’s mission in Ethiopia implements an emergency shelter, NFI and shelter repair kit provision project for conflict affected IDPs and returnees in Oromia region, East Hararghe Zone, Kumbi and Meyu Muluke Woreda.

One of IMC’s beneficiaries is Habsa Redewan Usmail, a 40-year-old mother living in Kumbi woreda with her six 6 girls and three boys. Habsa lost her husband, cattle, house, and all her property during the ethnic conflict between Oromos and Somalis six years ago.

She told us ‘[I was] unable to feed my children properly and send them to school...Gradually, I started cultivating my land and reconstructed my house. When the recent war broke out in our community, I lost everything for the second time. I even got shot on my leg.’

‘My children and I were forced to flee to Burka town - Gola Oda woreda 100 km away from Mino kebele,’ she continued. ‘Life is very difficult living as a displaced person, especially with a disability and without adequate water, shelter, food, health care or other basic needs. My children dropped their school and we had no hope at the time’.

When the security situation improved, Habsa and her children decided to return to their home town, Mino. Still, she recalled that they had ‘nothing left back home to re-establish’ their lives. They only had ‘plastic sheeting and some other house utensils that we received.’

Her family could not cultivate their land or construct shelter. They were living with the help of WFP food aid and were living in temporary shelters.

‘Then I heard about the assistance of shelter construction the first time when IMC Outworkers came to our village and told us they will help some returnees, with shelter construction materials’ she told us. ‘I initially was not sure whether I would be among those beneficiaries because of the large need in our kebele because so many residents were displaced.’

After a clear and impartial selection by IMC UK, and a verification process which involved elders, beneficiaries, kebele administration, and committees, she was selected as a beneficiary. She received supplies like corrugated iron sheet, nails, poles hinges and cash - all the things she needed to build her own shelter.

‘This is the first time in a year that I feel like a human being,’ says Habsa Redewan. ‘Using what I received and with IMC UK staff close supervision, I am now able to construct my own shelter.

‘Moreover, I am immensely happy because I have my land possession certificate through the help of IMC. Now I can close my door and feel safe.’