Canadian Organization Clashes with Galmudug Administration Over Blind School Project

A dispute has emerged between the Canadian organization African Vision Aid and the Galmudug administration in Somalia, centered around a proposed school for the blind in Aboudwak, located in the Galgadud Region. The organization alleges that the administration has hindered the project by imposing conditions deemed unfeasible.

Hanaan Osman, a representative of African Vision Aid, voiced concerns regarding the standoff, stating that the Galmudug administration indirectly obstructed the initiative by setting conditions deemed challenging to meet.

According to the organization, discussions initially took place on the last quarter of 2023 between African Vision Aid officials and senior leaders of the Galmudug administration, including President Ahmed Abdi Kariye Qor-Qor. President Qor-Qor outlined three conditions for the agency to proceed with the project:

  1. The institute for the blind must be established in Dhusamareeb, the capital of Galmudug.
  2. The construction contract should be awarded to Al-Hilal Construction Company, a local firm believed to be owned by the president’s close associates.
  3. Upon completion, the institute must be handed over entirely to the Galmudug administration.

African Vision Aid agreed to construct the institute in Dhusamareeb but encountered difficulties with the chosen construction company. The company allegedly demanded approximately $4 million for the project, while other bidders offered to complete the construction for around $800,000.

In response to the impasse, African Vision Aid announced its decision to relocate the institute to administrative areas within Somaliland. Consequently, the organization has closed its offices in the Galmudug region.

The dispute highlights the challenges faced by international organizations seeking to implement development projects in regions with complex political dynamics. Despite efforts to promote education and accessibility for the blind, bureaucratic hurdles and financial discrepancies have stalled progress in this instance.

The Galmudug administration has yet to respond to these allegations, leaving the future of the blind education initiative uncertain in Aboudwak and raising questions about the administration’s commitment to supporting such initiatives.

For now, the fate of blind education in the Galgadud Region hangs in the balance as stakeholders navigate this contentious dispute.

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