By Abdiaziz Ali
April 14, 2020
Cobblestone construction works make perfect sense for Jijiga’s growing urban roads. What makes different cobblestone work from other works of Infrastructures in Ethiopia; is labor-intensive creating jobs as well as opportunities for local small construction entrepreneurs. It uses natural and local materials that are plentiful. It is also cost-effective compared to concrete and asphalt roads, easy to maintain, and has a much longer lifespan. Jijiga is contributing to the national and global goals of Poverty reduction by empowering women and youth with cobblestone works.
Although it is not fully implemented, the initiative is required; yet the urban underprivileged of Jijiga are benefiting from the initiative, especially youth and women. Many of the members who are participating in this work today were previously unemployed women & youths, who are now obtaining new skills and livelihood strategies as part of this cobblestone work, said a Mother I spoke to. She told me that she and her colleague have recently got the skill of this kind of work from Jijiga Polytechnic of Somali Regional State and are here today to change what they have gained from the training center into real work.
Poor women and youth are one of the beneficiaries of cobblestone project initiatives. The money they get from here, of course, solves the priorities of their household. The mother I spoke to today while she was on duty cobbling stone here told me that why she is all this shining sun is to get what to eat for her families and cover the expenses of my children’s education. Hearing her words, I said to her Hooyo; it is like you who are helping this country to prosper just because you are keeping away hunger a while from your family and sending kids to school. Your future and health always shine, I added.
As I finished my talk with the mother, she finally asked me a question it is like this; – “Aduu Maqandaraasle ayaad tahay? Meaning, are you a contractor? I replied no, Mam; I am just very Impressed how this employment has helped and given you as a woman a sense of empowerment and community pride, and want to share those who don’t know what you are capable of changing not only your family but also Ethiopia. And that is what inspired me to write this piece after the conversation between the Mam and me.
Mainstreaming the participation of the women and youth in all priorities and activities is one of the Jigjiga’s city administration poverty reduction works as well as regional and national priorities. Making women and youth at the Heart of Jigjiga’s Development narrations is what is supposed to change what comes to many people’s minds whenever they hear that Ethiopia’s journey to middle-income countries by 2025 is safe, by lifting thousands of youth and women from poverty.
Abdiaziz Ali is an Educationist, Prolific Writer, Award-Winning Campaigner, and Education Advocate. Mr. Ali lives Jigjiga, Ethiopia and can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org
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