The cobblestone road construction in Baidoa is one of the few labour intensive projects under the Bilateral Stabilisation programme. A pilot in Somalia, it is implemented jointly by Nordic International Support Foundation (NIS) and the government of Somalia. The focus on cobblestone roads helps improve mobility, beautify neighbourhoods and increase property value. The World Bank and the International Labour Organization have successfully used labour intensive cobblestone road construction in Ethiopia, Kenya and India to improve infrastructure while giving thousands of people meaningful employment. Requiring only basic training, it is a cost-effective way of creating employment opportunities and improving key transport infrastructure that can eventually bring about stabilising effects. The joint community-government engagement is expected to improve community perceptions of the local government that can boost the authorities legitimacy to effectively govern. Engineers from the Ministry of Labour and NIS were trained on cobblestone road making in a bid to build capacity of state institutions and ensure transfer of skills from neighbouring countries. Should this pilot be successful, there exists the potential of Baidoa establishing a vibrant cobblestone sector for itself that can then be exported to other districts in Somalia.
You can watch a video about the cobblestone project by clicking the link below: