Somaliland: Climate Change Forces Somaliland to Change Course


“Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime.” Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie’s (1837–1919)

Somalilandsun- Somaliland in the Horn of Africa can not continue to focus on pastoralism and cattle, camels and goats as the dominant form of life and the crucial element of the economy. Climate change with increasingly frequent prolonged droughts has made it impossible thus the traditional way of life is no longer sustainable

Somaliland which elected a new government in November 2017 saw the incoming President Musa Behi Abdi merge the Ministry of Livestock with Fisheries, and given additional resources.Ther enlarged ministry has as  Minister  Hassan Mohamed Gafadhi, who has wide and long political experience, and also direct experience in development work. According to Minister Hassan, his ministry representing ther government of Somaliland has two future strategies are

Somaliland livestock and fisheries development Minister Hassan Mohamed Gafadhi

1.    To promote the development of Somaliland’s coastal communities by promoting fisheries. Among the ideas in the strategy is also to see if new opportunities for some of Somaliland’s thousands of internally displaced persons IDPs can be created in new communities built by the coast. They are not refugees for war, but hunger refugees who live in camps because of the drought.

2.    To seek a partial replacement of the traditional form of pastoralist-based livestock breeding with breeding based on feeding of cattle caught. The drought means that lean animals wander huge distances to seek water and feed. Water and feed consumption can be reduced if the cattle are fenced. The government will create a demonstration and training farm where you will try out the possibilities that can only be utilized in areas where cultivation is possible. According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Cattle, there are areas in Somaliland, where one hundred and ten years ago usually received 800 mm rain per year, but now only 350 millimeters fall.The drought kills the animals Statistics for Somaliland is not very precise, but in 2017 it was estimated that about one and a half million of Somaliland’s about 4 million people were affected by the drought.

Exports of animals – especially to Saudi Arabia – are crucial for Somaliland’s economy

Exports of animals – especially to Saudi Arabia – are crucial for Somaliland’s economy, and exports have been progressing until some years ago. But the drought has also killed a very large proportion of the animals. According to the FAO, Somaliland exported in 2015 a total of almost 5 million sheep and goats, 300,000 cattle and 72,000 camels.There is hardly any tradition for fishing in Somaliland, but in these years there is a strong development on the way. The Danish Somali NGO FairFishing established a fishing station in Berbera in 2013. With cheap ice and freezing facilities, it gave the very modest fishing better conditions, and since then there has been a violent development.The EU has supported FairFishing with funds to create fisheries stations elsewhere in Somaliland and Puntland, and more commercial investments have also been made. Fishing remains only a niche, but the consumption of fish is rising rapidly. In Berbera, there have been 10-15 to about 70 active boats catching around 100 tons monthly, at the same time as prices have grown due to increased quality. Fishery resources in the sea around Somaliland are huge and there is a very large potential in fisheries, but it is also clear that fisheries cannot yet replace the traditional way of living.

Not recognized as a country

Somaliland is an independent nation in the Horn of Africa, but not internationally recognized. In UN

Somaliland is an independent nation in the Horn of Africa, but not internationally recognized. In UN reports, etc. therefore Somaliland is considered as part of total Somalia. According to OCHA, the UN Humanitarian Assistance Organization, in January 2018, 5.4 million people in Somalia were in need of relief. For about half the emergency is acute and life threatening. The figure is slightly lower than half a year ago. The Whole Somalia probably has between 12 and 15 million inhabitants, but the number is uncertain both because of insufficient statistics and because millions of Somalis have fled.

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates that there are about 2 million internally displaced persons in Somalia, and almost 1 million fled to neighboring countries. Already in 2017, another one million displaced people became internally due to drought and conflictDanish Refugee Aid has a long tradition of work in Somalia and has just received a grant of 100 million. NOK from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to efforts for internally displaced persons and returnees.

The author Knud Vilby is co-founder and board member of FairFishing – and has just returned from Somaliland.

Read original article in Dannish language titled Klimaændringer tvinger nu Somaliland til at ændre kurs