Our Vision

Our vision for the Yeheb project is to improve the lives of communities in the drylands of the Horn of Africa by restoring Yeheb as a reliable, drought-resistant source of food and fodder.

Yeheb shrub at approximately two years old

Yeheb shrub at approximately two years old - the plant is initially slow-growing while the root system becomes established.

In order to do this, we are working to tackle the issues that caused Yeheb and other valuable species to be eliminated in the first place. With our partners, we aim to:

  • build local capacity to manage Yeheb sustainably for the benefit of all
  • aid the restoration of degraded rangeland using endemic species
  • provide the resources for fencing where necessary to protect young plants
  • help build food security to communities in drought-prone areas
  • connect individuals and communities across clan and national boundaries

We seek to respect and build on the wisdom of local people in all that we do, guided by their deep understanding of the environment in which they live.

The aim is to start by establishing the Yeheb shrub in two particular areas of Somaliland: Buhodle district and the village of Ali Essa. These settlements both lie on the Haud Plateau, where Yeheb was formerly plentiful and can still be found growing wild on the Ethiopian side of the border. We will then work with the University of Burao, at the heart of Togdheer Region, to spread knowledge of the plant more widely.

The wider context is that food insecurity in fragile, post-conflict regions goes hand-in-hand with civil instability. In other words, conflict can be both a cause and a consequence of food insecurity. In realising the project's vision we will empower communities to break this cycle, by increasing the resources available to them and by reinforcing the traditions of peaceful conflict resolution that have governed the use of rangeland and water resources on the Haud Plateau for centuries.

Photograph of nomad woman with camel near Ali Essa, Togdheer Region (c) yeheb.org

Pastoralist communities have well-established mechanisms for allocating grazing rights in communal rangelands and resolving any disputes peacefully