Somaliland:Qat and its Multi furious Impact-Report



                         University of Hargeisa    

Department of environmental science


Report : Qat and its multi furious impact



 presented  by :

Abdirasak  Hassan ali

 Shukri abdi  yoonis

 Najma  ismael abdi

 Warda  naasir  ibraahim                                                           lecturer  : Ahmed ibrahim  Awaleh

 Hana  ibraahim osman

 Mustafe abdilahi abdiqadir





 Executive summery………………………………………………………………………..1.1




Internationally policy regulation of Qat…………………………………… .1.3




Impact of Qat…………………………………………………………………..1.5


Policy regulation of Qat………………………………………………………..1.6


Challenges obstacles the successing the process……………………………1.7







1.0: Acknowledgement

We are gratefully  acknowledging   and  thanking  to mr  Ahmed ibraahim  awaleh   for  his  courageous  role  for  writing  this  report   also we are  expressing  thanks   for those  who  initiate  writing  publications  involving  environment  as  the  writing  of  this  report  will not  be possible   without them   apart from these  our   scenery gratitude  is  due   to our   team who  appear  coherent   advices  and  suggestions   in order  for  this  paper  to be completed  :

Abdirasak  Hassan ali                           hana  ibrahim osman

Warda  nasir  ibrahim                                  mustafe abdilahi  abdiqadir

Shukri  abdi yonis

Najma  ismael abdi


;lastly  we are  expressing  great full thank  to our  lecture     mr Ahmed  ibraahim Awaleh


Definition of terms


Wielding = means having                     

Psychotic = having characteristics  of insane

Sympathomimatic= secretions secreted by  the  adrenal medulla  in response  to stress

Hypertension: a common dis order  in which blood  pressure  remains  abnormally high

Advocacy= active  support  of an idea


                                        Key words


Qat,   impact of Qat, Somaliland policy reduction of Qat, challenges obstacles the  process




1.1: Executive summery

 This paper   is  widely  investigating  the  qat  and its multifarious impact  which has on  the  development  , socio-economic level of the   people  and  whole  the country , the Somaliland population  is estimated  to  be around 3.5 million  who mainly depends on on  livestock  as  a source of income  in other word,  it is accounted to be among the poorest  countries in the continent  but the truth is beyond this , thousands of dollars is exported daily  from Somaliland to ethopia  where the  qat comes from. In the horn  of africa  khat,  is an institution , wielding enormous economic  impact as  well  as playing  major social  and  cultural role  in the societies  , in Somaliland especially the capital  you  won’t  find  much qat –related dissent. ‘’ it brings  people together , it facilitates  discussions  of issue  and exchanging information’’ says  local journalist  despite this,  qat  has  social , health , economic  and  environmental problems

1.2: Introduction

Qat  also known [  khat, miraa] which  is a green leaved plant [ cathaedulis] and belongs  to the celastraceous family . it is  dicotyledonous  ever green flowering  plant that grows in the equatorial  climates  mainly in the Arabian peninsula and the regions around the horn of africa  such as ethopia , Kenya , Somalia, and also  Yemen , this plant also grows  to a lesser extent  in Uganda  Tanzania, Rwanda,zimababwi, Zaire, Angola , Malawi, and Mozambique.                                      the qat is know by various  names  in different regions, it is called  miraa in Kenya, qat  in  Somalia , or Chad in Yemen and   ethopia.

Qat is slow growing shrub or tree that attains a height of 1-5m [3ft 3in-16ft5in], however it can reach height  of  up to 10 m[33ft] in equatorial areas.  This plant usually grows   in arid environment at a temperature range of 535c [4195F] it has ever green leaves, which are 5-10cm long and 1-4 broad. the environment  and climatic condition  in which it is grown  determine the chemical  profile of  Qat leave and to some  extent  its  taste . for example in Yemen  there are 44 types  of qat cultivated in different  geographic  areas  of the country ,normally  Qat  have an a stringent  taste and  an aromatic smell, which  adds more palatable taste  for its  consuming .  In the horn of Africa  where the qat is native khat chewing  has  a history  as social custom  dating back thousands of years  analogous to the use of cocacola leaves  in south  America . in Somaliland  chewing  qat is widely practiced  habit ,practically  every three peoples among    folks   who inhabit  same area two of them  practice the  custom of chewing  Qat . this  in turn interrupted the country’s situation    and  created  a lot of  chaos   problems , amongst  economic problems ,introducing in appropriate  habits , social problems , , health , and environmental problems

1.3:  Internationally Policy regulation of drugs                                                   The world health  organization [ WHO] classified  it  in 1980 as drug of abuse  that can produce psychological dependence , although  WHO  organization doesn’t consider khat addiction  to be seriously problematic, anyway it is  a controlled substance  in some countries such as Canada , Germany ,united state  while its production,  consumption, are legal in some countries ,including Djibouti,  Kenya, Uganda , Ethiopia,  and  Somalia

1.4: Objectives

The aim of presenting this paper is to:

  • Identify the lasting solution    around the issue of the use  of Qat
  • Share the people   side effect  which results  the prolonged use of Qat
  • Present the solutions to curb  the use of chewing  Qat
  • Inform service providers to the identified problem
  • Present the people , environmental health problems from resulted the use of chewing Qat
  • Develop an action plan  by using negotiation   authorities  methods
  • Make a recommendation involving  the minimization  of Qat
  • Prove the challenges obstacles  for the Reduction Qat

1.5: impacts of Qat

In the horn  of africa  khat,  is an institution[i]n , wielding enormous economic  impact as  well  as playing  major social  and  cultural role  in the societies  , in Somaliland especially the capital  you  won’t  find  much qat –related dissent. ‘’ it brings  people together , it facilitates  discussions  of issue  and exchanging information’’ says  local journalist  despite this,  Qat  has  a  health ,socially , environmentally , and  economical  problems

  1. Health impact                                                                                                                             

Health is one of the  basic human needs , apart from shelter  and feeding , but when  humans came to the earth  they spoil its nature  and caused much  destructions to its constituents  such  air  atmosphere and everything  evolving  nature despite these, the  prolonged  practicing bad  habits such  as  smoking  , chewing Qat  cause  its consumers  to acquire  newly disease which were not known  before  among these  are cardiovascular diseases , ,loss of appetite, diabete,melit, damage  to the liver and  kidney , the qat which is the only  drug that is used widely in our  country  are responsible  for the health problems  that  become paradox such  as insane  and psychotic. Here below are described common health problems which are seen in the Qat chewers

Effect of qat on human appetite  and body weight:   the appetite suppressant  effects  of chewing leaves  of the Qat  have been reported  for  several centuries , cathinone affect  appetite centrally , by acting  in the hypothalamus apart from its central  effect , it enhances sympathomimatic activity  leading to  delay  in gastric emptying  in healthy volunteers  khat decreased  hunger  and increased fullness , this was associated  prolonged gastric emptying  a high plasma level of the anorectine hormone ,leptin , has been found  4 hours  after  heavy khat chewing  session [400g], this hormone  may contribute to the decreased  appetite  and  body weight  

Khat  and cardiovascular system:  khat  has  a direct  effect  on the  cardiovascular system  due  to the direct  sympathomimetic  activity  of cathinone  causing  clear increase  in heart rate  and blood pressure  in humans  . according  to a study by toennes  and widler[1], significance  increases  in systolic  and diastolic  blood pressure  persist for between  3 to 4 hours  after the onset of qat chewing , similar findings  were found  by getahun , where the prevalence  of hypertension  was significantly higher  among khat chewers [13.4%] than non-chewers [10.7%], the health  problems of qat  isn’t brief  from the above mentioned  but they are immense  from this but the health problem of chewing  qat remains  to exist  as the qat is legal across the country

Economic impact: the Somaliland population is  estimated to be around  3.5 million people who mainly  depends on  livestock  as  a source of income  in other word,  it is accounted to be among the poorest  countries in the continent  but the truth is beyond this , thousands of dollars is exported daily  from Somaliland to ethopia  where the  qat comes from ,’’ according  to the customs department, the amount of qat  that officially comes  into the country on daily  basis  is between  55,000kg and  65000kg [55 and 65m/t], this  amount  is estimated  between  $ 300,000 and $ 330 daily-this means  that every month the amount  of foreign  currency [hard cash ]that leaves  Somaliland  is estimated  between $9 to $9.9 million  in regarding  this  it means that every year  an estimated amount of between $108 million  and $ 120 million  is spent on importing  qat from ethopia , in addition   leaving this huge amount  of money from the counry  caused the  scarcity  of foreign  currency  and this  contributed  from the inflations which  present currently from the country  this in turn will threaten  the lives of  lower classes who are likely  to fail for obtaining daily food.

Social impact:  Qat is termed as  drug and  drugs  generally affects  the behaves of societies   who consumes  in other word consumption of  qat  introduces   bad  behaviors  among  the society ,  it causes the  increase of crimes , robbery  and  looting  the innocent   civilian properties  despite  this, chewing  Qat  accounts  to be responsible  for daily break off families  in the consumed societies  which  in turn brings  neglects  to the childrens  who are  likely  to acquire  immoral  behaves  or to become  violence  who  always  run  to  result  crimes  among the societies  which they are  in. qat chewing introduced  a lot of  problem which we cant count  them all in here however ,  the  amongst include  as follows :

Arguments:  consumption of qat   ,bring disputes  among its   chewers  which  may result  a hostile  from man  and his wife  from a manger  to  his staffs  due to  the  tensions   resulted  from the  qat  chewing  ,  according  to the study  made on  2014 ‘’  two or three family breaks   on every  week  due to the  arguments resulted  from chewing  qat



Violence: many people  especially  youths  in our  country becomes violently  due to the searching  of Qat , searching  of it  brings   them  to  do  illegal actions  such  crimes  robbery which  in turn brings  them  consequences   that they don’t  thank , apart from this , the social impact of Qat can be  seen  not only  the major cities but in every aspect  of the country

1.4: environmental impact of Qat     

Prior before   the fallen of central government of Somalia  the environmental  health  situations , have been safely  from any pollution  or alteration from its nature system  however , as  the urbanized areas begun to increase , newly  areas  are  demanded  for  residential  purposes  so  the increase of  urbanized areas coupled  with  in population caused the alteration  of  nature system in our environment  apart from this  many efforts  have been carried  aimed  to curb the  environmental problems  around  the world  and  especially  in our country among  these  are passing legislative  law  of  environmental policy in our country , regular  awareness  involving  deforestations , waste disposal  generated from the use of  domestic locals  such as the  consumption  of  qat which is  the most waste  in generated  by  major cities  in the  country 

despite  this  , the impact  of Qat on the environment  is touchable  because  it is  what behind the  deforestation  that  have been  continue  for  the last  two  decades  , spoiling  the  soil with the contaminations  resulted  from the  charcoal consumption   in  the most of the  capital city  of Hargeisa in spite  of these   the main problems  which  the Qat  has on environment  is mentioned below:

Deforestation:  Qat chewers    especially  those who live in the rural areas  tend  to cut trees  and then sell them , in order  to obtain  qat , this in turn  caused   severe   environmental  problems  , amongst  erosion  of land  due to lack of cover  as the  trees  is  known  to prevent  soil erosion because  its  roots   binds and  hold the soil particles  together , however  immense  of deforestations  aimed  for  commercialization  of charcoal  and  other  purposes  caused  the land cover to  be removed  immensely  which caused   prolonged  droughts , increase  the speed of wind , efforts have been carried  yet  the rate  of  deforestation is increasing  at an  alarm

Waste : in urbanized areas  wastes  generated  by  the cities,  qat is accounts to  be the most  according to the  other  domestic wastes , in urban areas  of our country where  the scene of beauty have to be seen  is completely  hidden by the waste of Qat   in addition, chewers of Qat  tend  to urinate  frequently  more compared  to the usual person  which bring  them to   urinate 

on the public  places  such  streets  and this contribute  to the  contaminations resulted  from the  consumption  of Qat in other word  waste of Qat  contributes to the loss  of  soil fertility as it was originally  grown  poisonous pesticides 

Encourage  the use of plastic bags : plastics  are non-biodegradable , it has  an adversely impact  on the environment, plastics prevent  plants to  appear their flower ,  or to regenerate into newly  once  . qat chewers  are those  who use  plastic bags  immensely , and take  their  role  for  polluting the environment  , Somaliland  banned  the  use of  plastic  bags when it seen its impact on the environment , and towards the   nature system  however it is used as  smuggler 

Noise pollution: the  entering  of Qat is  accompanied  by  the high noisy  sound resulted  from blaring  horn  which is  a sign  indicating  that   Qat is brought, this accounts  the most  obvious problems  which  the Qat  has  on   the society .  the noise created by  cars loading  the  qat may  cause  restless  , among the people ,  hearing  loss   and  it creates  un stability  which resulted  from sleep deficiency

1.5: policy action that has to be developed to reduce problems emanating from qat consumption

Consumption of qat  are  among  the wicked problems  that held in our societies, despite these , there have been  times  that it was tried  to  enact laws , but  it wasn’t succeed  due to  a number of challenges  amongst   the standard  living  of people which is mostly low  , awareness of community, high job unemployment  in regarding to  this, Qat  consumes  to  a large  number of societies  who  daily  feed from what they get from  selling of qat  yet  ,its  effect is  immensely  compared to its  benefit  and  as Islamic people  our beloved religion   is banning if the materials problem  is greater compared to its  advantage  in other word every one of us  can   understand  the effect of qat  to every aspect of  live in our society  towards  the economy, social style life  however  the  following  can be regulated from the  consumption of Qat :

Raising the awareness of population: increasing the awareness of population  and introducing its  impact   through discussingt  and highlighting  its serious problems   ,  such as ,{ impotency and psychosis}  may contribute  for the reduction of Qat  consumption , also using   the media such   tv  social  and  radio which   acts  as  a   most effective  once as it can reach remote   areas  where  other media  is impossible  to be available

Creating leisure activities to the youths   :  making places where the youths  take their spare time  is another chance  for reduction  the consumption of khat in our  country as the  youths  having  more freely times  tend  to do  in appropriate  actions  such  as  consumption  of Qat , smoking habits  which may in turn  bring them  serious health problems,  in other word  enhancing  other leisure activities  will  contribute to the reduction of Qat consumption also  Qat consumption  can be reduced by making comprehensive policy  that creating  employment among  those   who are now engaged  in qat business  , particularly  single /women mothers  and provide them  with direct assistance  through  microfinance  provisions 

Regulation  the consumption pattern  of qat:  making  the times of consumption  of qat  into  fixed hours especially into the main towns  by allowing it   only  after lunch till late  afternoon     { 1: 00PM-500PM} instead of the current 24hr, it is  expected  that this policy  will limit  the consumption  of qat  by almost  30%  apart from this  there are other  factors  which may contribute  for implementing  this  that is intended to reduce  the consumption of qat  among these  factors   , stakeholders  which  have  their role , they involve  directly or indirectly  for qat consumption  in other word , they have an obvious impact to the use of qat, despite these, they play vital role  for  the  success  of the process  or failing   as the  stakeholders ranges from large scale  stakeholders  such as  companies to the small scale  stockholders  which are  single mothers who use  to commercialize   the Qat  however they  may  influence  for the implementation of banning  Qat due to following :

They may obstacle  the implementation of policy : as the  number stakeholders involving  the  Qat  is greater  starting  from small scale stake holders  to large  stake  holders  they may oppose  for implementing  this policy which banning  the consumption  of  Qat  for instance  if the consumption  of qat  is regulated  they may lower  the price  in order for  the chewers to  encourage  for the continuity  of chewing qat

Stakeholders  will create  alternative programs :  stake holders will tend  to create  new ideas  as they encounter  challenges  for  consumption of  khat  and  have  in mind  that the  qat  acts  as source of  income to many  families  they will  tend  to create  new investment programs  such as creating  recreation places  ,  in wild which may enhance  the quality of environment  and their      interest will remain  as it were before

1.6: The actions to be take for implementing the  policy mentioned  above


Mobilization,  these include  to  train  people  for  how  to do  the   advocacy ,


Education , raising  the awareness  through : trainings  involving  the serious impacts of  qat,  streaming  the  curriculum  of the  country to the impact  of  qat


Here below is described  the actions  to be  taken  when  a policy is  developed                        Advocacy






Then the government is vesting the responsibility of implementation




1.7: The main challenges  that will stand  against  success the process

As  we  mentioned before  the Qat  is wicked  problem  that  is  difficult  to solve  her , and as we  know  qat  caused  a lot  of problems   amongst  socially   and economically  however  ,efforts  have been made  to minimize  the  effect  of Qat  despite  these,  the following  main challenges  will tend  to obstacle  the  abstaining  the consumption  of Qat  these  include ;

Qat  as source of income: despite  its  effect  the Qat  acts  as source  of income  to many  family  lives and  this  will tend  to obstacles  or banning of  Qat , is not  only  acts   as  income  families  but  also government  generates  large immense of many  through  taxations  which  the  government in turn used   for the  provisions  include  infrustructes   social  amenities , salaries  so banning  of qat will take  longer  due to above mentioned  things

Socio- cultural factors : in some  societies  especially  in our  Somali community  believe  qat  as  a something  blessing  which the use  once  they held ceremonial  festivals  such as   religious  festivals . . ‘’ it brings people together , it facilitates  discussions  of issue  and exchanging information’’ says  local journalist in other  word  this factors will be the main challenge  that  will obstacle  for  the abstaining the qat

Stakeholders:  this  ranges  from the small  stakeholder  to the   large  stakeholder  which  also have their  role  among these  include companies   and small  business   commercials

1.8: Conclusions

There is a need for a greater level of awareness of khat use in Somaliland communities and its associated problems including health effects, impairment in functioning, family disharmony, and marginalization from society. Primary care practitioners are well placed to provide assistance to individuals with problematic khat use, employing harm minimization strategies. A culturally sensitive approach is warranted and outreach primary care services have an important role in attempting to engage with members of the Somali community around this issue. Further training of primary care practitioners including drug and alcohol service practitioners is necessary to improve awareness of khat and its effects. Universal strategies of motivational interviewing and harm minimization adapted to suit the cultural context, such as by involving members of the Somaliland community and family members, are warranted.


1.9 : Recommendations

The following will contribute to the limitation of qat :

  • Increase public awareness  of the potential health hazards  of qat chewing
  • Integrate education  on khat  into the curricula  of the primary  and  secondary
  • . There is a need for cultural gathering places and activities or events that bring the Somali community together socially and provide alternatives, should be Establishing Somali clubs where people can meet informally to:
  • hear seminars and presentations
  • watch relevant TV and other documentary programmes
  • read Somali and Arabic language newspapers
  • engage in Somali cultural activities and events
  • More scientific research needs to be carried out into the physical and emotional effects of Qat.
  • Qat users need to be offered help and support from service providers from within the Somali community. This should include counselling for users and their families and mentoring schemes provided by Somali people. This would require the provision of training for Somali/British men and women so that they can offer support within the community.
  • . There needs to be much greater awareness of the health and social impacts of Qat use amongst young Somali residents, in particular young men, as well as for service providers and the local authority.

1.10: Reference

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  8. Jump up^“Khat facts”. ADF. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
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  10. Jump up to:ab Rätsch, Christian (2004). The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications. Park Street Press, U.S. ISBN 978-0892819782.
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  14. Jump up^Simon, O’Rourke (13 December 2006). “Concerns over African methamphetamine-like drug in Hamilton”The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  15. Jump up to:ab Kirby, Alex (7 April 2007). “Yemen’s khat habit soaks up water”. BBC News. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  16. Jump up^Marshall, Tim (15 January 2010). “Sky News report on Yemen’s Qat”Sky News. Retrieved 4 April 2010.


Economic  hazard  associated  with qat  consumption  aerticle published  by  Hussein  m.A. AGeely

                  Socio economic impact of Qat  article published by   abdinazir master of finance  of micro economy  at bader university

[1] Scientis



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