After months of preparation related to beneficiary selection, design, and tendering processes, a new shelter project began in January 2013 in Bossaso, Puntland. The initiative involves 500 houses constructed with funds provided by the Government of Japan, 150 houses funded by the UN Common Humanitarian Fund, upgrading through building urban infrastructure, and training of selected beneficiaries in income-generating activities. Parts of the project will be done through cooperation agreements with a local NGO and the Bossaso Vocational Technical Educational Centre.
A core four metre-by-four metre house with a latrine will be provided to 650 beneficiaries. All have land titles certified by the Land Department of Bossaso Municipality. The construction of the houses is moving at a very rapid pace; the beneficiaries will substantially improve their living conditions by having a house made of durable materials instead of the buuls they have had up to now.
The roofs of the project houses are very noticeable, thus making the project highly visible. This is already having a positive impact on the perceptions local authorities and the general population have about IDPs and the urban poor, and is leading to greater acceptance of their presence in Bossaso.
Upgrading of the settlements will include the construction of two community centres and five buildings at the Bossaso Vocational Technical Educational Training Centre. The centre will train 220 beneficiaries in tailoring, hair styling and beautification, tie-dye, catering, information technology, electricity, plumbing, general mechanics, and carpentry.