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Published On: Sat, Jul 2nd, 2016

Somaliland Pastoralist’s Destroy their own grazing land

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Cabdalla Cali Yuusuf 30 June, 2016 BOORAMA

Ergo2

Pastoralists in Awdal are continuing to devastate the land they rely on for grazing their livestock by cutting down trees for making charcoal, despite the hardships of the recent drought.

Radio Ergo’s local reporter discovered that many Somali pastoralists were supplementing their income through the sale of charcoal.

Roble Omar Muude, one local herdsman, uses his camels to transport the charcoal he makes in the eastern outskirts of Borama to the market.

He said the charcoal business covered his own personal expenses, rather than helping his family.

“Khat is the main reason why I cut the trees, I also need some money to buy new clothes,” he said. “My family is pastoralist and they do not need to burn wood [to get money].”

It takes six days to make six sacks of charcoal. He makes enough to load up his male camels with six sacks each before setting off for the market, where one sack sells for around $5.

“The traders in the market are encouraging us to cut the trees and produce the charcoal. They give us orders in advance and they compete with each other to buy our charcoal,” Roble said.

Roble, 32, owns 400 goats and 15 camels. In times of drought, local pastoralists are forced to travel up to 280 km with their animals looking for pasture. The charcoal burners realise their activities have exacerbated the drought but they do not stop.

Ergo3Photo | Roble and his four camels loaded with charcoal /Cabdalla Cali/Ergo

 

Abdi Barkhad, 40, who has 300 goats and 20 camels, told Radio Ergo that he and others cut for charcoal the specific trees the animals eat in dry times.

“We burn both green and dry acacia trees,” he said.

Barkhad admitted that pastoralists had tried to agree on ways of stopping charcoal burning because they realised it impacted negatively on the environment and was destroying their traditional livelihood.

“We have met and agreed many times to stop the destruction of the forest with our own hands, but some of us don’t keep our word and go back to the charcoal business and so the burning continues,” he said.

Environmentalists like Suleiman Hassan Hadi are very concerned about the damage being done.

“There will be no grass if the trees all disappear. This means the animals will not survive. This in turn will force the nomadic people to move to towns, but as they have no skills to take up jobs some of them will make the streets their home and this will damage the beauty and environment of the towns,” he said.

Environmentalists are calling for tougher laws to deter deforestation.

ERGO

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  1. ISMAIL HUSSEIN DUALE says:

    BAL EEG DALKII XALAA
    WAXAY LAFO DAADIYEEN
    BALEEG DEGELKII HUFNAA
    BIR IYO WAXA DAASAD YAAL
    MAXAY DOGOB WAYN SHITEEN
    MAXAY QUDHAC DEEBIYEEN
    WAXAY DAMBAS TOOMIYEEN
    RUGTII DIGO LOO YIQIIN
    DUUGII NOLOSHAY TIREEN
    DUNUUNUC BUKSY LIQEEN
    DALQAY WAXKU EEGAYAAN
    Daba Huwan, Hadraawi

  2. Maxamud Yassin says:

    A case of killing the goose that lays the golden eyes. If you think enlightment is expensive, then try jahilliya (ignorance)! When will our people learn that they are the first ones who need to take care of their environment first? Do we expect fake foreign experts/expats to come and lecture us on early warning systems or disaster mitigation techniques? I was disappointed to read this article. Even more shocking is the “confession” of the brother(s) who know what they are doing is wrong yet continue doing it.

    They say one definition of madness is “continue to do the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result!”. Instead of protecting and preserving their land, our herdsmen are guilty of destroying it instead. We have eyes/ears yet we seem NOT to see or learn the lessons – until the next drought or famine comes along. I should know because my people were forced to leave our ancestral land years earlier because of an “abaar” that destroyed everything. I was too young to appreciate everything them. Now, with hindsight I can clearly and safely say that although some things are beyond man’s control (lawyers call it an “Act of God”), there are some mitigation measures that can try to lessen its effects.

  3. Maxamud Yassin says:

    Typo: case of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs NOT eggs. Sorry about this!

  4. Maxamud Yassin says:

    Typo: case of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs NOT eyes. Sorry about this!

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