Somalia: IOM to Relocate 24,000 Somalis At Risk of Eviction in Baidoa

The UN migration agency said Friday it plans to relocate some 24,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) at risk of eviction to public sites in Baidoa, southwestern Somalia.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the regional South-West State has provided public land to humanitarian partners for development and subsequent relocation of displaced families who find themselves at risk of eviction.

"This effort by the authorities in Baidoa and South-West State is vital to ensuring that displaced people in Baidoa live in dignified conditions until they wish to return to their home areas, or integrate into the local community," Rainer Gonzalez, IOM's senior programs coordinator said in a statement.

The organization said thousands of IDPs are under constant threat of eviction in the city of Baidoa which currently hosts more than 323,000 displaced people, many of whom live on private land without secure tenure agreements.According to statistics, more than 11,900 individuals were evicted in Baidoa without proper notice this year between January and March.

An eviction risk assessment conducted in February by humanitarian partners revealed that 48 out of the 391 IDP sites hosting 5,170 households in Baidoa were at very high risk of eviction and 117 IDP sites hosting 12,697 households were at high risk.

The UN migration agency said discussions and community consultations were held with the local leaders and communities from these 48 IDP sites in Baidoa town to identify those who would be interested in being relocated.

"Of the 48 IDP sites involved, residents from 15 of them showed a willingness to be relocated," said the IOM.

IOM's Kathryn Ziga, a camp management consultant said communities were shown the site and services available, including the security posts, plot sizes, water collection points, and lockable household latrines.

"Relocation is voluntary. If they like what they see, they can decide to move," Ziga said.

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