BMMI SEZCO Berbera receives humanitarian cargo, bringing hope, and a new era to the Horn of Africa
In March 2023, Berbera Economic Zone was inaugurated and BMMI took possession of its 3,000 sqm warehouses.
In May, WFP Berbera received the MV Diamond Sky vessel carrying 53,000 MT of wheat cargo from USAID. Recognising the urgent need for storage solutions for these crucial supplies, BMMI partnered with DP World Berbera to ensure that WFP's cargo could be accommodated efficiently. These operations were the very first of their kind in Berbera Economic Zone.
Since it is a new venture for the zone, there were many challenges and a large-scale coordination with various stakeholders was needed. The DP World Berbera team recognised that BMMI has extensive experience in dealing with aid cargo in the region. DP World was convinced that by joining hands with BMMI, they would benefit from our expertise in handling complex operations. Together, we would be able to offer unparalleled supply chain solutions for the much-needed aid cargo to serve the affected population hit by the drought. BMMI gained valuable experience from operating the new centre in Berbera, and now we are confident in handling any future requirements for USAID.
DP World CEO Mr. Supachai Wattanaveerachai and Economic Zone GM Mr. Joseph Oguta said that it is a milestone for the entire Economic Zone to receive humanitarian cargo. They also commented that since BMMI is the USAID Prepo contractor for the Horn of Africa, the presence of BMMI in Berbera as an operations centre will be a great advantage for Berbera to attract more humanitarian cargo to the Berbera Economic Zone.
A significant milestone in this endeavour was the successful accommodation of the USAID Branded bags by BMMI Berbera Warehouses. This achievement paves the way for the Berbera Economic Zone to become a leading hub in serving the USAID logistic requirements for the Horn of Africa by utilising Berbera corridor soon as an extension of the Existing PREPO facilities in Djibouti.
The Horn of Africa, particularly Somalia and Ethiopia, has been plagued by recurring droughts and widespread displacement, leading to a severe humanitarian crisis. This crisis is characterised by alarming levels of food insecurity, malnutrition, and the spread of diseases. Ethiopia has faced internal challenges that have further deteriorated the humanitarian situation, resulting in significant displacement, and exacerbating the issues of food insecurity and basic needs for nearly 20 million people.
BMMI addressed these challenges by transforming an empty space into a humanitarian warehouse in Berbera. The partnership with DP World Berbera shows commitment to innovative solutions and collaborative work to overcome logistical obstacles. The warehouse serves as a beacon of hope, demonstrating the power of collective action in providing aid to the vulnerable in the Horn of Africa.
BMMI's Berbera Country Manager, Mr. Vipin Sagar, stated that BMMI remains dedicated to supporting the region's humanitarian efforts with INGOs. We are expecting a large-scale operation through the Berbera corridor, as it is a strategic location that can deliver humanitarian support to 26 destinations, including Somalia, Puntland, Somaliland, Ethiopia, and the South Sudan region. Additionally, from a commercial perspective, an upcoming transit agreement between Somaliland and Ethiopia is currently under the signing process. With this transit agreement in place, Berbera will become a significant transit and Source & Supply Hub for the Horn of Africa. This will be facilitated by utilising the brand-new warehouse facilities in the zone, the newly constructed road to Ethiopia, the efficient port facility managed by DP World, and collaborative stakeholders.