The civil war in Somalia between 1988 and 1991 resulted in considerable loss of human life and destruction of local infrastructure and government services throughout the country. In August 1991 ACTIONAID, in collaboration with VETAID, visited Sanaag region in the self-declared independent Republic of Somaliland. The purpose of this visit was to identify priorities for rehabilitation and development in Sanaag and assess the feasibility of ACTIONAID becoming operational in the region. As a result, ACTIONAID opened an office in the regional capital Erigavo in 1992 and decided to focus its activities in the water and animal health sectors. A veterinarian was seconded from VETAID to manage the ACTIONAID/VETAID Animal Health Programme (AHP).
This paper describes some of the work of the AHP in Sanaag between 1992 and 1994. The paper focuses on the design of a paravet system. It describes how an evaluation of the AHP led to plans to establish private veterinary pharmacies and encourage links between these pharmacies and paravets. Issues related to the ‘privatisation’ of primary veterinary services for pastoralists in Sanaag and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa are discussed.