UAE's Khalifa Foundation builds largest concrete dam in drought-struck Somalia
Somalia has declared a state of emergency over severe drought and 2.9 million of its population face a food crisis that could lead to famine, according to the UN. (AFP)
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The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has completed the largest concrete dam construction project in Somalia, which will provide the city of Hargeisa and nearby areas with water for irrigation channels, as well as to store water for use during the drought season.
This move is in compliance with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the follow up of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation.
The launch of the dam coincides with the "For You, Somalia" campaign, launched as part of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to assist the Somali people in overcoming daily hardships and to gather support for the victims of drought.
The campaign is also in line with the ''Year of Giving'' initiative, the strengthening of the UAE’s role and its humanitarian and civilised message for solving the issue of famine in Somalia, as well as all countries throughout the world.
The launch was attended by Dr. Saad Ali Shire, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Somaliland, a delegation from the Khalifa Foundation and a number of Somali officials.
During the launch, Dr. Shire praised the efforts of the UAE’s leadership, government and people, and its major and supportive role in providing for the Somali people, while stressing that the project is one of the most important strategic development projects in Hargeisa.
An official from the Khalifa Foundation said that building the dam took 13 months, adding that it comes as part of a series of other projects by the foundation in Somalia, as a continuation of the humanitarian projects which are on-going in brotherly and friendly countries, as well as in assisting vulnerable people. These projects come from the UAE’s constant desire to provide different types of humanitarian support and help to brothers in Somalia, representing the strong fraternal relations that connect the brotherly peoples and countries.
Eng. Wassim Haroun, CEO of CONSER Consulting Engineering Services, which built the dam, presented an explanation of the standards and stages of the dam’s construction.
''Established under the supervision and funding of the Khalifa Foundation, the 150 metre long and 11 metre high dam has the storage capacity of 350,000 cubic metres. It will secure 650,000 gallons per day during the drought season,'' he said.
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