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Informal Workers in Somaliland Struggle to Pick Up the Pieces

Once a vibrant and noisy place, the market at Waheen was Somaliland’s largest. It had about 2,000 shops and stalls, selling fresh fruit and meat alongside tailors’ and tech support stores. When fire raged through the city of Hargeisa earlier this month, at least 28 people were injured and hundreds of businesses were destroyed. At an event organised to raise support for the women affected by the fire, organisers asked people to put politics aside and focus on how to help rebuild lives. “We need to help the girls and mothers of Somaliland, especially focusing on those who are small business owners. There are people who will not even be able to afford to eat after this,” Khadra Aadan, one of those affected by the fire, says. “It’s not enough for us to just feel sympathy for these women, we need to act quickly now.”