International Standard Export Slaughterhouse Inaugurated in Jig-jiga, Somali region of Ethiopia
By Ahmed Deeq Hussein
Ethiopian-Somali Region has made enormous progress in terms of development, peace, security and stability. As an extensive pastoralism practicing community, the region is considered to be a place for the country’s leading livestock population, with 84% pastoralist and agro-pastoralists. The livelihoods of most families depend on animal and animal products (livestock) and agriculture. Vast of our pastoral communities were suffering due to lack of animal marketing and may still come across difficulties through illegal livestock marketing across the border.
Somali Region has inaugurated an international standard Jijiga Export Slaughter House (JESH), as of February/25/2016 G.c. — which is the most modern and largest abattoir in Ethiopia. The project investment is estimated 172 million birr. Diaspora community members took lead in coming up with relevant innovative ideas and the plan to set up such a sophisticated abattoir in the Somali Region of Ethiopia.
This Slaughter House has the capacity to process 600 cattle and 6000 small ruminant (sheep & goats) per day. The abattoir has cold-chain—which has carrying capacity to maintain for a year and keep meet in good condition until the processed meat be exported to international markets, according to international standards, and will be Halal-certified for exporting to the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
The abattoir (slaughterhouse) has created job opportunities for 200 individuals and other 2000 people would be benefiters through establishing group based cooperative associations to supply animals and those will service animal fattening. It will also create a solid market for animal marketing and to export meet in other world. Thus the project will also contribute country’s Phase Two of Growth and Transformation Plan (GTPII), the economic development of the country, especially, the Ethiopian-Somali region.
Dr. Faysal Guhad the manager and properly founder of abattoir on his side extended his best gratitude to His Excellency, Mr. President, Abdi M. Omar for his precious support to construct a 2km road and electric power installation cost for this project. As, mobilizing and enabling the investment environment for diaspora communities — so that they can invest their region and the country “THE existing peace and stability in Somali Region gave me full confidence to invest huge capital with these projects,” said Dr. Faysal.
The manager of JESH, Dr. Fayal, expressed his gratitude to H.E Mrs. Patricia M. Haslach (US Ambassador), and a special thank you to United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for their substantial support and Mercy Corps as well. Dr. Faysal mentioned and explained how this project will solve issues of animal marketing since this abattoir will create huge market for livestock for Somali Region.
H.E Mrs. Patricia M. Haslach expressed her pleasure and thanked H.E Mr. Abdi M. Omar, the president of Somali Region, for his government for supporting the constructing 2km road – creating access, a safe road and electric power connection to this project.
H.E Mrs. Patricia M. Haslach mentioned that when she witnessed today were two historic developmental achievements –JESH inauguration and Hello-Cash launching ceremony in the Somali Region. The US Ambassador stated how the US Government has been long-term development partnership of the Somali Region through US Agency for International Development (USAID) with investments in livestock, pastoral development, water access, vocational, education and general humanitarian assistance. The US support to Jijiga Export Slaughter House (JESH) and Hello-Cash is based on a mutual partnership and the general community is happy to see these vital projects being realized in Somali Region.
Through President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative, an additional $1.5 million has been provided to purchase equipment including cold chain and provide technical assistance to ensure JESH will be able to meet all requirements in international export standards. As well, Somali Regional State has strong support from our organization in providing road access and electricity connections for 6 million ETB (Mrs. Haslach stated during her speech).
This become a sustainable and fruitful project when you can get private sector, developmental partners and regional state to collaborate together, resulting in investments from private sector – to essentially build the first ever international-standard abattoir and livestock fattening facility in the Somali Region.
This JESH and USAID partnership is a firm effort and action in supporting resilience to many climate-elated shocks, stated the US Ambassador. Also, important work is being implemented by Mercy Corps (through USAID PRIME Program) and is increasing capability and capacity of household, community, and institutions to be more resilient during the current drought and to be better prepared for future environmental shocks, added Mrs. Haslach.
His Excellency, Mr. President, Abdi Mohamoud Omar, extended his heartfelt thanks to H.E Mrs. Patricia M. Haslach, US Ambassador to Ethiopia, H.E G/egaber G/yosus the State Minster of Livestock and Fishery of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, other regional and national government officials, honorable guests, international community such as the Country Director of Mercy Corps and participants.
The regional president acknowledged the support of US to JESH through US developmental partners, stakeholders and donors including USAID, Mercy Corps, etc. He warmly thanked International Rescue Committee (IRC) and encouraged other NGOs operating in Somali Regions to support development projects along with emergencies. The regional president explained how IRC is the only International partner contributing developmental projects through responding the actual needs of our people and region such as drilling deep boreholes for most needy people to have access for clean water in remote areas of the region and assisting with refugees –“IRC deserves to be praised,” said the president, during his speech.
The regional president addressed how many international NGOs are operating in Somali Region and most of them they are working in emergency response activities. For instance, we may see many international NGOs trucking water for two or three months during water shortages (in cases of delayed rain season). Unfortunately, the cost for water trucking for three months is triple folds than drilling one borehole that could sustain longer and people would benefited for many years. The goal is to take sustainable and durable approaches.
Therefore, when we see the cost-benefit in case of emergency water trucking and drilling deep boreholes is not comparative. “To drill deep borehole is less cost which is efficient and effective as IRC is doing so and we value IRC’s efforts and interventions in the region,” stated H.E. Abdi M. Omar.
An example of IRC’s good work is what IRC has done for the people around Sibi and Gari-Go’an areas, which is area suffering from shortage in clean water for many years. Sibi and Gari Go’an now drinking clear water as result of IRC drilled deep boreholes in these very remote jungle areas in the region.
The feedbacks we obtained from the local people residing around SIBI & GARI-GO’AN areas is very positive, and they are satisfied for accessing clean water, and tackling issues related to water shortages, because of IRC drilled deep boreholes facilitated by IRC. IRC is contributing to the water sector development in the region, which is the first and foremost priority agenda for Somali Region that we take into account, since developmental projects have longer lifespan and sustainability—that is preferable for our region.
The regional president explained how senior officials of regional state have visited foreign countries including western countries like USA, Europe, Australia, as well as African and Arab countries to have discussions and consultative meetings with diaspora communities of Somali Region, to convince them of the reality on the ground and engage them to invest. Diaspora communities were later invited to come and invest in their homeland. Due to such efforts, most of diaspora community returned back to region and investing right now in the region with huge developmental projects similar to JESH.
Mr. President Abdi M Omar underscored that there is supportive government policy and leadership commitment to support diaspora communities to provide any possible facilitations and assistance that they could able to invest the region and country. Therefore, Somali region is fertile with full of raw materials and resources which are suitable for manufacturing and there are high opportunities and demands for much more small factories in Somali region like leather factory etc.
Mr. President has also acknowledged the supports of federal government in basic development over the past several years for Somali Region, such as telecommunication, roads and electric city. However, the opening of JESH is really huge development for livestock sectors in this region. Previously, the nearest standard export slaughter house located hundreds of miles from primary source of livestock here in Somali region. Now with JESH opening, there is slaughter house right here which will soon provide reliable European market for 250,000 households to sell livestock — thereby creating opportunities for pastoralist communities to increase their income, create new jobs, increase resilience and improve livelihood standard of pastoral community in the region.
Finally, it is highly appreciated to see this big developmental project invested by the diaspora community of Somali Region, creating jobs and animal marketing for pastoral community of the region, and contributing economic development and general betterment of the country.