It was my first time to travel to Baidoa. The days were limited, and here are five things I observed from Baidoa.
1. Solar water system
It was my first time seeing a Solar-Powered water system. It is a “Waqf” well given by Shati Gadud before his death. After his death, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) developed the well into a Solar Water system. There is one guard, and the residents use the water regularly. You see camels and other livestock drinking water and families taking water from the well.
2. A tree on a water tank
One interesting thing I saw in Baidoa is that a tree on a water tank. The water tank is used to give water to all residents during Siad Barre times. It does not function now. The tree is green as you can see the below picture, and it was the same shape many years.
3. A church changed into mosque
During the Italian colony to Somalia, there were churches in the country. One of those churches located in Baidoa. It was not destroyed like many others in the country. It was changed into mosque. The mosque works now. It attracted me so much. The way they thought was brilliant. Instead of destroying the building, they made some changes and turned to a mosque!
4. Girls elementary and intermediate school
The school is called Abdalla Derow Isaq. The students who attend the school are all female. The total number of the students are 1070 (one thousand and seventy students). There are also twenty-three staff including teachers and administrators, and they are all female. Most of the teachers are mothers who used to teach during Siad Barre era. The 23 (twenty-three) female teachers voluntarily teach the girls without receiving monthly fee. I was told that no one pays them, and their determination to teach the young girls never changed.
5. Hotels with amazing names
Like the Diasporas returned to Mogadishu, Baidoa Diasporas invested hotels. They built several hotels in Baidoa. One difference is that those hotels have foreign names. I saw a hotel called Melbourne, and other called Manchester Guest House. The hotel I was accommodated was Manchester Guest House. I did not have the option to accommodate the hotel, but it was my lucky. The nights I was there were also Manchester players and coach on the TV. Fellani was playing to Belgium, and Luiz Van Gaal was coaching Nederland. It was a fun, Manchester United fan, staying Manchester Hotel and watching Manchester players on the screen! lolz