Somaliland: Why can’t We go from Deforestation to Reforestation!


Charcoal BurningBy: Faisel Ahmed

SOMALILANDSUN- I had a friend once who told me about how Hargeisa used to be in the past and he had a wonderful example to describe what he really means, he said “In times of the SNM War against Barre’s Militias,, those troops were standing all the time in the outskirt of the city and it wasn’t very clear to them the target they were aiming for, then I stopped him and said ” how is that and they have a powerful military not only in the inventory but also on the equipment” he said simply

They were having difficulties of finding their target because of the huge Forest that had surrounded the city” It was fruitful disccussion that I enjoyed much however the case, one thing only has striked me most which is the word FOREST- I suddenly compared to my trips that I’ve been in that city and how Hargeisa was nothing more than Banka Giriyaad! ( A plain land in Salal Region ) It’s shocking even when you hear once that Hargeisa was ever green and now is nothing but deforested areas, it’s even shocking when you try to take a picnic and you start bolishing your shoes 3 times a day!

It sarted when Somalilanders become the main cause of rainforest destruction. They are chopping down trees of all kinds, heights, and sizes and that becomes a common pratice among the people, their aim is to get Charcoal sold,used and exported but are unaware of its implications deeply, never asked why Hargeisa has faced some droughts recently. Apparently it was a lack of rains as any primitive ideas will jump but the reality is far from that – it’s believed that If trees are clearcut over large areas, therefore, rains slow or stop downwind, it’s true too that among plants, trees are by far the most effective evapo-transpirers. Complementing oceans, trees form the other half of the planet-wide system known as the rain or water cycle. A typical tree breathes out 250 to 400 or more gallons of water per day through the amazingly large surface area of its leaves (an acre of forest can contain well over 1,000 acres of leaf surface area).

Additionally Scientist believe that Forest influence day to day weather but also helps to keep the climate stable all the time, logging and burning release the Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere contributing to climate change, ofcourse that will not happen in the presence of trees which absorb carbon dioxide from the air—tons of it, for that matter. Without them, the ever harmful carbon dioxide will just float above our heads

Cutting down a tall savanna tree takes about 15 to 20 minutes but it takes approximately 20 years for to grow to the same height. Given the scale at which plants are being sawed for money, we will have no more left in the near future and animals will find a new forest they call their home or they will die after they lost their source of food – this reality is not so strange to Somaliland where livestock is the backbone of the majority of the people and even though nobody knows how to preserve this, infact everybody has failed to obtain animal health histories and records,provide specialized nursing care, assist in Surgical proceedures or etc.. The Anmial care didn’t exist in the first place in Somaliland so the provision of the food source to the livestock which is the plants, it was very dissapointing in the presence of many NGOs who had different projects in Somaliland didn’t find a good solution to the heavy deforstation that has swept the country over decades due to the severe droughts that took place in Somaliland recently where people couldn’t get enough meet,milk and butter, and even though people have suffered from this alot but no one has raised the issue of Deforestation that was widely at large every where you step your feet in nor they brought a good way out of this simply the people who are the key factor of this problem are mainly from the countryside and as such they don’t know the connection between trees,rains and animals and how truly it represent into life of many. Put together this can’t happen if we keep silent and wait the Government to answer this, therefore there should be some community awareness that speaks exclusively how significant trees are in our life and by the simple terms those people can understand the meaning of this is not only to stay in the shade of the tree but to stop from cutting excessively, it’s important theyvknow that this tree doesn’t need any care or food from us because as I’ve stated that trees can breathe water through its large surface area of leaves contributing to evaporation into the ocean water in which continually evaporates back into the atmosphere to form the clouds that return fresh water to land as rain. I assume that any primary student know the depth of this cyle and that is embedded how a healthy and green life could start yet this wasn’t what was worrying youth pointedly nor it was the top agendas of the government but the very essence of our being urge us to come up with a campaign that aims for not only training how to get a green environment but also teaching people reforestation process.

Today we are all personally responsible for releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels for transportation (driving and flying) and home energy (electricity, heating, and cooling). This leads to global warming, which is destroying Earth’s biodiversity and native ecosystems. This is not a call to reduce fossil fuels but rather protecting the only carbon store houses which also improve human health by producing Oxygen and Air quality. One is thinking whenever we’re talking about Deforestation then we’re talking about the Amazon Forest in South America that even can’t be compared of the level of rainforest destruction between them and us – with that said yet they’re making sure to stop that by putting huge project on teaching farmers some Agro-Ecological techniques. They believe that communities and students are a priority and starting from this point maybe Somaliland should be inspired and back to business where it teaches farmers in Agroforestry technologies and vegetable garden home planting, showing ways to obtain a better nature minded living, improved sustenance and more lasting and profitable agricultural results.


 Global Giving Organization

 National Geographic

Faisel Ahmed