Our Chairman, Mohamoud Omer Sh. Ibrahim, visited the Somaliland SES during 2010 and brought back the following report. There is a link to the CV of the Solaliland SES Director at the bottom of this report.
Raising Public Awareness about the environment, and wise uses of natural resources
Mohamed eggeh Killeh
Somaliland Ecological Society
The Somaliland Ecological society is a non governmental, non-profit–making voluntary organization.
SES was founded 18 November 1996, and registered with the office of the attorney general, Ministry of Planning and National Guidance, Ministry of Livestock Forestry Range and Wildlife, and the Ministry of Finance as a non governmental, non profit making voluntary organization that is dedicated and engaged in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the country’s deteriorating environment.
Mandate of SES:
Ensure environmental sustainability both marine and terrestrial environment. Integrate principal of sustainable development into the country policy and programmer’s advice government organization institutions and the general public on the principal of nature conservation.
- A SES mission is to achieve promotion of sustained environmental management and development in the region.
- Eradication of poverty among pastoralists in the country through community based participation in their own development.
Combating land degradation and desertification caused by nature and human activities over grazing, poor land management; over–exploitation.
- To raise environmental awareness among the grass – root and decision – making levels
- To carryout research into the active environmental degradation
- To reserve the current nature and man – made ecological ruin
- To establish cooperation working relationships with other institution inside and outside the country who have similar objectives.
- Find an alternative source of energy use instead of wood – fuel or charcoal burning
- Strength environmental pollution control
- Establish tree nurseries to rise tree seeding for reforestation programmes and amenity planting.
- Identify and document globally important sites for breeding and roosting birds, turtle nesting beaches and man groves lagoons along the gulf of Aden Somaliland coastal zone
Objectives: Combating land degradation and desertification caused by nature and human activities – overgrazing, poor land management, over exploitation.
- To raise environment awareness among the grass root and decision – making levels
- To carryout research into the active environment degradation
- To reverse the current nature and man made ecological ruin
- To establish cooperative working relationships with other institution inside and outside the country who have similar objectives
Appeal: to attain this complex task which would benefit this nation as a fundamental element of peace, stability and sustainable, development calls upon the international community, the UN and its specialized agencies, AU and other region organization. To extend assistance and support SES both moral and practical, in order to establish close cooperation.
Threats of environmental issues
Thirty years before the turn of this century the north east corner of the continent, the Horn was still one of the world’s most interesting and prolific wild–life regions an area where the contrasting. Beauty of the mountain, steppe and plain of Africa was enhanced by varied and interesting flora and fauna which the hand of man had laid only lightly.
To day, particularly in the two northern states of Somaliland and punt land, large areas have been devastated by gross over–stocking which has caused the destruction of the vegetation for charcoal burning and exposure of the land to erosion. The habitat for wild – life has been destroyed over large areas and humans with their domesticated animal’s wildlife and charcoal burners compete for the remaining forage and forests.
To put the above in simpler comprehensive way “the environment is affected by natural factors and man’s activities as he seeks to ensure his well–being in essence these activities may be called the process of development, when the process is such that it take’s into account also of the effects on the environment and provide for the well–being and vitality in a sustained manner it constitutes management of the environment (UNEP 1978).
There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise but a foolish man spendeth it up “proverb ch.21.V.20 (Mario pagans, 1969 – SOS planet earth” the above descriptions and proverbs are all applicable to Somaliland and are the most prevailing constraints in the country to protect biodiversity in our country.
SES Main Area of Operation:
- Prevention of soil erosion
- To make tree planting an income generation activity for woman
- To produce enough food
- To encourage self – employment
- To raise public awareness of environmental and development issues
- To involves the youth
- To save indigenous trees, shrubs fauna, avifauna and other flora
- To address the problem of poverty and promote household food – security
- Gender equity through women development and empowerment.
- Conservation of living marines resource
1. Board of Trustee
2. Executive committee
4. Executive Directors
Source of Funding:
- Contribution from members of SES
- Grants from the international and regional donors and supporters
- Fees from services provided and consultancy to community and other institutions
- Support from the Somali Ecological society (UK. London)
SES Track record:
Since its creation 1996, by a group of committee nature lovers and experienced local environmentalists who have a profound knowledge of the ecology of Somaliland SES have registered outstanding achievements in its campaign to raise the awareness of the local community on the importance of their natural heritage of nature, by doing so one strategy adopted was through the mass – media to convey its message to the people. Programmes were released frequently...
- Hargeisa TV
- Radio Hargeisa
- B.B.C Somali service by poems reciting and awareness rising.
- Jamhuriya for 4 years in the vernacular
- The republican for 4 years – English
- The Somaliland times
- The sub – Saharan informer
- In workshop and seminars by discourse of environmental management poems speeches.
SES inculcated the masses of the people with positive attitude for the environment instead of people with indifferent attitude. The public and decision – makers are well aware of the needs to protect the environment. As a result many other organizations are now actively engaged in environmental management activities. SES is now prepared to take practical action orient steps at the grass – roots and your assistance is essential in order to protect nature.
SES is the pioneer to advocate raise environmental awareness and lobby at higher circles to protect nature.
Please Refer To the Attached List of Environmental Publication by SES for Environmental Awareness Rising
1. The Turn of the 20th century, its impact on wildlife of our country
2. The movement of environmental management in the horn of Africa
3. Protection and conservation of all basic natural resource
4. “Waayaha Daallo shalay iyo Maanta”
5. Nature amply provides for all of our needs
6. The status of Ostrich in Somaliland
7. When the present Somaliland was called British Somaliland
8. Ten days with PERSGA and the seabirds of Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia
9. The Globe is warming but don’t tell the Americans
10. workshops on Environmental Management
11. “Dhamal iyo Dhuxulaysatada”
12. Nature and man
13. natural Resources and their conservation
14. Near Extinction of the Big Cats has raised Biological Problems in Somaliland
15. Is the climate changing in Somaliland? These documents are all attached here
A Truck carying charcoal to the urban Centers
The beginning of Social and Water Erosion In Ga’an Libah
An Indigenous Early Account of Ga’an Libah (Adopted)
The following is the story of Ahmed Naleye, Habar Yunis, Muse Abdallah, Abokor Loge an old man who has lived on Ga’an Libah all his life. His age is now about 65years (1947). This story was recorded by P.E Glover and included in his unpublished work (Vol. 11. part 11, 1947), about 55 years ago many elephants lived on Ga;’an Libah. There was a herd of probably more than 200. Then one day the whole herd moved away in a body westwards. I would say this was 55 or 56 years ago for I was still a small boy from then until now, not a single elephant has returned. “[Swayne (1895) says that his brother shot a large tusker on Wagger where there a number of elephants. This would seem to confirm the old man’s story C, F, H.].
At that time every hollow had a permanent running, spring in it, and there was a luxuriant grass growth everywhere. Before my time, a people called the RAHAN WEIN, who now live in Abyssinia, lived here and made gardens. These people built a fort the remains of which can still be seen at Bagan, there were no other Somali tribes here at that time. Then after the RAHANWEIN had gone away, the ISHAAK tribes came here from mait and he is the HABRAWAL, still lived only on the coast.
When I was a small boy the open plaints, which are now covered with Chrysopogon aucheri var, quinqueplumis, Acacia etabaica and Acokanthera schimperi var, ouabaio were very small openings in the forest now only a few dead stumps show where the Junipers procera was. The Juniperus procera extended as far as the present kharia at Gerba keyleh. Now there is only little on the northern slopes. In the gully there was plenty of Juniperus prucera. Where the Acokanthera schimperi var, ouabaio is now is called wabile, there was Juniperus procera growing with it when I was a boy of about 10 years old, but it has all died out now. There was always a great deal of Acokanthera schimperi var, ouabaio there. The place where the Governor’s camp now is, called BALLEH, because a great deal of water used to accumulate there after rain, where the water–hole is now. Was called kab–on and there was a permanent spring of running water there. The waterhole now called ONEIMEDU consisted of one well only. Three men handed water up from the bottom. This hole was made by us with iron bars, about six holes were made later, but all except two have been covered over by the wash of rain water. The waterhole where the big root of the focus is near the coffee shop was called GUROH and was once a permanent spring now it runs for a short time only. It is called GUROH, because it is so narrow.
Where the “Se’ed” (Syzygium guineense?) thicket is there was a large permanent swampy jungle called BIYO – ADO – BUK, but now only a few small water – holes remain the elephants liked that place very much.
When I was a young man there was a great deal of fighting among the tribes here, and the OGADEN used to raid stock right down into the GUBAN, they raided and killed a number of stock and LAFERUG, was their headquarters, the road they took down to the GUBAN is called FURDOH, they accumulated big mounds of bones because they used to break bones for the marrow.
When I was a young boy people called the SULAH GUDUB lived on GA’AN LIBAH they were called that because they were a mixture of HABR YUNIS, KASSIM–ISAHAK, ARAB RER ADAN and ARAB AHMED ABDULLAH. These people used to raid from here to JIGJIGA and HARAR.
About 50 to 60 years ago, before the Somalis had rifles, they used to burn large patches of the forest to drive out the lions which were very numerous, that is how a great mainly trees were killed out. This practice had been going on for a very long time, but stopped after the Somali people were able to get arms. When I was a young man GA’AN LIBAH, was one of the best grazing areas in the country, but now there is no much stock here, and there are so many people, that nothing is left and everything has been ruined.
When I was a boy there was no erosion where now there is a large patch near WABILE also at DERE-MARAH, where there is very bad erosion now, there was none, and that part of the country was densely covered with Acacia atabaica and A. nilotica sub–species pleiocarpa. All this erosion started 10 years after I was born. A very heavy, Gu’ rain fell one night which was called “Dig Wein” the people in BURAO called it ”Dogob-jibeye” because there was such a volume of water. All the wells were washed out in BURAO, this rain fell only for one night. That is when most of the erosion in the country was started. The plain near the GORE coffee shop on the BURAO road, which is now bare was covered with trees and good grass, but all the trees and grass were washed away.
In the old days when I was young. Only cows were kept on GA’AN LIBAH no other kind of stock come here, my father told me that before my time there were cattle and gardens here. When I was young the plains around were full of hartebeest, Oryz “Aul” and “Dero” and in the bush were numbers of Greater Kudu, there are still a few kudu but there are no Oryx or Hartebeest left, they were shot out by the local tribes when they were able to get arms, and by European hunters, “(Interpreted by Hussein _ Weid, Habar Yunis, Musa Arreh, Native Names of Plants replaced by Latin Names by the author).
“The above account reflects the continuous Deterioration of Environmental Challenges in Somaliland”
SOMALILAND ECOLOGY SOCIETY ACHIEVEMENTS (SES)
Some Projects Implemented by SES
The Project Function Under Food for Work not Cash Money
Click here to see a table of activities - in PDF format.
SES Challenges of Natural Resource Management is lack of:
1. Policy, Legislation and Plans:
a. There is no officially adopted or implement forest, range and wildlife policy for Somaliland in existence at present, and the awareness of the need for a definite programme is increasing for the last 10 years in higher circles of the government. However, therefore the main grass – root challenge is mainly inherent in lack of policy, legislation and plans, implementation.
b. Lack of alternative source of energy is the main cause of forest destruction 99%, of energy use is from charcoal, traders in the country in which wildlife perish for lack of shelter.
c. Over – grazing gully erosion, soil and water erosion are depleting livestock grazing lands in the country to a large extent.
Long term objectives combat it:-
a. Creating and managing sufficient forest reserves like”libaahley” mountain of Dayib “juniper forest” and others.
b. Establishment of plantations to supply what the indigenous forest’s can not supply.
c. Making some watersheds protective forest reserves.
d. Creating reforestation, watershed areas.
e. Establishing or rehabilitation of existed forest nurseries in regional level.
- To Establishing or re – establishing sufficient grazing reserves where necessary or possible.
- To educate the public on the proper principles and application of range management
- To reverse capability of the land and the reproduction of the plants by enclosing large range areas in the form of famine reserves.
- Preserve the wildlife of this country in such a manner which facilitates the perpetual continuity of the wildlife in variety and number.
a. By creating game parks where possible, sanctuaries and orphanages to ensure the continuity of wild game population with in the limitations of the natural environment.
b. By creating facilities where people could satisfy their educational needs as well as natural curiosity.
c. To find ways and means of arresting the extinction of unique and rare animals indigenous to the country.
d. Create an effective and capable organization to work towards the attainment of the above goal.
MARINE PROTECTED AREAS IN SOMALILAND
The Somaliland Ecological Society (SES) is very much interested in Marine ecosystem conservation.
In reference to (PERSGA), the Regional Organization for the conservation of the environment of the Red sea and Gulf of Aden, there are many offshore in Somaliland’s Coastal waters.
Aibat and Sa’adadin Islands, (PERSGA) 2001, not only the largest coral reef area in the Gulf of Aden, but also including a fascinating area of low-lying mangrove islands, salt marshes and swamps, a very important site for nesting sea birds and probably also for turtles.
Threatened Marine Shrimps are over harvested in off-shore Islands and Coastal SLagoons
The Somaliland SES has been active in promoting the wise use of natural resources through a national TV. Radio, public meeting and organizing workshop, but due to lack of funding it has relatively small NGO unable to progress further, especially in the past couple of years. However, with the help of small funds from UK based Somali Ecological Society, we have been able to re-launch our organisation, and managed to rent again small office base from September 2010. Somaliland SES co-founding member used to member of the now UK based Somali ecological Society and hence when the organision was set up it was used and similar name, with a view to making it affiliated to it in the long term.
Our organisation has provided a great deal of support the recent fact finding mission by the chairman of the UK based Somali Ecological Society (SES), and the two organisations agreed to work together more effectively and co-ordinate their work . Furthermore, Somaliland SES have formally requested support from the SES with fund –raising issues, as well as technical expertise from UK, and the two organisation signed memorandum of understanding about key areas of priority for action in Somaliland such as the urgent need for alternative energy to protect the remaining natural forests and woodlands, protection of wildlife, the need for re-establishing forest reserves and re-establishment of forest nurseries in all major towns.
Somaliland SES Management Committee Members and Mohamoud Ibrahim Chairman UK, SES