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Fixing Somalia's schools

Somalia, September 4, 2009

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Mohamed Mohamoud/Mercy Corps  </span>
    EXTERIOR, BEFORE: As you can see in this before photo, the classrooms were in very poor condition with cracks on the floor and walls. Most of the windows and doors were broken with exposed glass that put pupils to the danger of getting hurt. In all classrooms, the wall and ceiling paints had come off, making the classrooms look inhabitable. Photo: Mohamed Mohamoud/Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Mohamed Mohamoud/Mercy Corps  </span>
    EXTERIOR, AFTER: All the 11 classrooms have been rehabilitated with repairs of cracks in the walls and floors, painting, fixing of security metal grills to windows and replacement of broken glass panes. The community education committees will provide a regular maintenance program for the school. Photo: Mohamed Mohamoud/Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Mohamed Mohamoud/Mercy Corps  </span>
    INTERIOR, BEFORE: Stepping into any classroom in Biyo Dhacay Primary School, one is met with massively dilapidated learning space. From shattered windows slatted against heavily cracked walls to desks patched from ill-fitting recycled planks of wood, the school was in urgent need of renovation. Photo: Mohamed Mohamoud/Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Mohamed Mohamoud/Mercy Corps  </span>
    INTERIOR, AFTER: After all the 11 classrooms were refurbished, the old mangled desks were replaced by new scenic and well polished desks. Pupils can now enjoy a serene and comfortable learning environment. Photo: Mohamed Mohamoud/Mercy Corps

With a current population of 1,140 pupils and 11 classrooms — with virtually no land for expansion — Biyo Dhacay Primary School has labored under appalling infrastructure and facilities.

Biyo Dhacay Primary school is located in the North West of Hargeisa town in the Marodijeex region. (That's in Somaliland, a semi-autonomous part of Somalia.) Mercy Corps' SEEDS program intervened at a time when the school needed proper rehabilitation and maintenance of the school's infrastructure such as classrooms and its water and sanitation facilities.

USAID supported the rehabilitation of the school's dilapidated classrooms and water tanks, which are connected to the town's main water system, and the installation of handwashing facilities for the boys' and girls' latrines.

Check out these before and after photos: