The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), in partnership with the US Army’s Civil Affairs Unit, on Saturday distributed personal protective equipment and sanitary supplies to traders in Mogadishu, to support efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The donated items included hand washing facilities, thermometers, soap and face masks, and were distributed to traders and shop owners who ply their trade within the Halane base camp. There are over 150 shops located at an area referred to as ‘Marine market,’ selling a variety of essential commodities to people who live and work within Halane.
The market was closed in March this year when AMISOM implemented lockdown measures at Halane to control and contain the spread of COVID-19. Now, as AMISOM begins to ease the lockdown restrictions in the base camp, the donated items will enable the traders to safely conduct business while adhering to standard operating procedures designed to prevent COVID-19 infections.
“We have provided personal protective equipment to other sectors and the Marine market. We have sensitised the traders who will be interacting with our soldiers. We need to ensure the use of these items,” said Lt. Col. Cyriaque Bikorimana, the AMISOM military deputy Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) Officer
Present at the handover was Lt. Abdihakim Mahad, the CIMIC Focal Point in the Somali National Army (SNA), who thanked AMISOM and the US Army for the valuable contribution, reiterating that the collaboration between SNA and AMISOM to prevent and control the COVID-19 outbreak had so far worked successfully.
“The partnership between AMISOM and the US Civil Affairs Unit in supporting this community with protective gear against COVID-19 is very much appreciated,” said Lt. Abdihakim.
Since March, the market has been a ghost town much to the anguish of traders.
“We are delighted that the market will soon reopen. I extend my gratitude to AMISOM, the Somali government and other partners for their support to us, and for equipping us with protective equipment against COVID,” said Mohamed Daqane, who runs a clothing shop at Marine market.