The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) continues to contribute meaningfully toward efforts aimed at addressing the threats of forced evictions against communities at highest risk in Baidoa. Due to the multi- dimensional and complex nature of forced evictions, preventive and response initiatives require a cross-sectoral approach that involves government, humanitarian, development, and community stakeholders, including the landowners and affected populations. The situation in Baidoa demonstrates a suite of good practices that offers a useful case study of how advocacy, coordinated multi-stakeholder efforts and government-led initiatives can be effective as complementary measures in addressing forced evictions. A suite of complementary government-led eviction prevention efforts to address the forced evictions phenomenon in Baidoa have been put in place. In 2020 for instance, the Baidoa, the District Administration issued an Eviction Moratorium, suspending evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, which was first put in place in April 2020 and then further extended to March 2021. This has led to zero evictions being recorded in Baidoa since July 2021. The Mayor of Baidoa further issued a warning of legal action for landowners who disobeyed this directive. The issuance of the directives was in large part due to persistent advocacy and engagement by the Bay Evictions Taskforce, HLP Sub-cluster and the Somalia Protection Cluster.
On March 27, 2021 the Bay evictions taskforce in partnership with NRC facilitated its second consultative evictions’ mitigation and prevention forum in Baidoa district with financial support from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) under the Danwadaag Durable Solutions Programme. The forum used a consultative and participatory approach, in order to ensure that participants were able to openly share their concerns on the current eviction risks and effectiveness of the prevention and mitigation measures put in place in Baidoa.
Among the key attendees were South West State Ministries, including Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior and Local Government, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, South West Commission of Refugees and IDPs, Baidoa Municipality, Baidoa District Court, Bay Region, Humanitarian Actors, IDPs, Returnees, and Bay Eviction Taskforce.
The forum was officially opened by Mr. Abdullahi Ali Watiin, Director of Durable Solutions and Urban Resilience and Chief of Staff for the Office of the President South West State of Somalia and then followed by the scheduled proceedings.