Groundwork for construction of youth recreation centre in Barawe, Somalia, begins

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Groundworks have been launched for the construction of a youth recreation centre in Barawe, Somalia. The works are being carried out by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) which is currently serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

The recreation centre is 400 by 300 metres and lies along the Indian Ocean shores. It will serve as a multi-purpose hall that will harbour sports courts, a library and entertainment conservation centres.  Additionally, the recreation centre in Barawe will empower the local youth and promote talent.

Skilling the youth help in fighting ignorance, eliminating redundancy and preserving heritage. Once the recreation centre is complete, it will create employment opportunities.

ATMIS provide unwavering support to the ongoing Somalia-led peace and stability process.  Additionally, ATMIS act as a development partner to support the prompt development and delivery of projects. For instance, the youth recreation centre will assist in changing the mentality of the locals.

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Significance of the youth recreation centre in Barawe to the peacekeeping mission in Somalia

With the young people being vulnerable to Al-Shabaab recruitment, this centre will help them to differentiate between good and bad.  Notably, Sayid Ibrahim Adam, a district engineer insisted on the importance of a compound approach to fast-track delivery of the project.

Before the collapse of Mohamed Siad Barre’s regime, Barawe freedom square where the reaction centre is to be built was used as an economic hub. It was used to store goods and travellers. Then the Al-Shabaab took control over it in the late 1990s. The Al-Shabaab made freedom square their lucrative revenue collection point-especially for charcoal export to Middle East countries.

In 2014, The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) recovered the sport by capturing all coastal towns in Somalia. The Federal government of Somalia later prohibited the charcoal business. Construction of the recreation centre at the previous economic hub will give Somali locals a fresh insight and a fresh sigh of relief.