Disabled by the Chain: The mentally-ill people in Somaliland

Disabled by the Chain: The mentally-ill people in Somaliland

Hargeisa (Radio Koor)- Ahmed Jama Bile, like the other people with mental health problems in Somaliland, is suffering from the pain of the chain on his legs that has disabled him. He lives in Sheikh Omer village, Hargeisa suburbs.  A team of Radio Koor journalists has paid a visit to his house to observe and share his story with our wider audiences.

This 35-year-old man has been in a chain for years. He mentally became ill some years ago and the only help he got is ‘Chain’. When our team visited him he was barely laying down on the ground without matt. The only companion he has got was ‘The chain and a blanket’. His dirty and sandy metal room was covered by a plastic sheet as a shelter from the sun light and the rain drops.

“As you can see, the room has no door. We chained him not to let him escape! He is vulnerable to everything – even the floods since we are the raining season and other dangerous animal can get in his room!” Fatima Jama, 50 years old and a mother of eight children, told Radio Koor. Fatima is Ahmed’s sister who always takes care of him. “He is aggressively violent and the only way we can keep him is chaining him” She added.

According to Fatima and her neighboring families, Ahmed is also facing insomnia which is believed to be one of the main factors that contributes his violence. The family gets no help from anyone, except one of the oldest sons who works as car washer, because Fatima’s husband is unemployed. Beside the difficult situation he lives in, he became disabled and cannot move because the chain paralyzed his legs. Though, Ahmed is mentally ill, but he also now became a victim of the chain which causes the disability he is living with.

Not only Ahmed who is a victim of chaining but all the mentally-ill people in Somaliland and Somalia also are the victims of these corrosive metal chains.

©Koor Media Inc.