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What Can Be Done To Help Somaliland Out Of The Present Crisis?

Issue 321
Front Page

Drought And Counter-Terrorism Threaten Livelihood Security For Hundreds Of Thousands Of Somalilanders

Video Footage From Mogadishu Shows Devastating Effects Of Attacks On Civilians

US Policy In Horn Of Africa Questioned

Islamists Behead Three Soldiers In Somalia

No vessel is safe from modern pirates

The latest African billionaires

Regional Affairs

Lord Avebury’s Strong Letter Of Support To Qaran's Case

US Donates 2 Vehicles For AMISOM

Somalia's Humanitarian Crisis Worsens Amid Fears of Widespread Drought

Special Report

International News

Deaths reported in Tibet protests

Somali Model Says Belgian Police Treated Her Like 'Prostitute': Reports


Two Charged Over Death Of Somali Teenager

A UK School That Teaches Its Kids In 40 Languages

Back to reality at Heathrow's T1

Food for thought


If A Few Make Ends Meet, Two Million Can Take A Nation To Prosperity!

A Human And Livestock Catastrophe Looms In Somaliland

Educational Collaboration Between Somaliland & South Africa (Part 2).


By Ibrahim Adam Ghalib
Borama, Awdal.

Every body must accept that there is no ready made answer. What lies ahead is a painful search for alternative political and socio-economic development. It is difficult to ensure expansion unless drastic changes are allowed events and opportunities for interaction and cooperation between our people. This means placing people’s rights to sustainable livelihoods at the heart of development and equal distribution of resources.

Crisis doesn’t refer only to sudden un expected catastrophe but in the culmination of slow build up of political, economic and environmental factors. A strong sense of collective identity can give people the confidence to live together to recover from such crisis and mend the rifts of the past. Un equal power relationships and ethnic dominance are inherently unstable and ultimately create conflicts.

There are two controversial factors that dragged Somaliland behind. The trend towards de-participation and the arbitrariness and predatory behavior of the present administration that manifested itself in intimidation of the non state actors.

This resulted corruption to manifest itself in many ways on public services ranging from bribery and misappropriation of public funds to the practice of favoritism in personal activities. The practice of political patronage in hiring of employees is very common. This has lead to an inordinate increase in number of employees in the public service without much consideration of what is necessary for satisfactory performance.

Further more appointment of clan associates irrespective of their competence for the job has left many institutions with people unable to do a good job. These people are the only ones engaged in misappropriation of funds. Political protection has often made it easier for them to engage in such mal practices.

The large pool of redundant workers could have been reduced, in efficient ones either trained or removed and the overall dexterity improved. Wastages and frauds could have been avoided and the high profile officials responsible could haven been investigated. In reality the clan is a political faction operating within the institutions of the state and loot is their clan totem.

The meager resources are often spent to buy the support of the clan leaders. This is done behind closed doors and never become public. This incapacitated the institutions that have the ultimate responsibility to manage national development. Any attempt to escape the participation and empowerment of the people in decision making process is extremely short sight ness and over-right anti development.

There is a need to look beyond the state centered institution building that exists in Somaliland today. Institutional diversification involving the non state actors has the potential to diffuse pressures of polity by providing new avenues for development participation. Patience and greater tolerance is required and of course with minimum government intervention.

Food production has dropped by 30% world wide and the prices increased dramatically by 40%. Many governments already started to subsidize food prices and others increased the salaries of the working force. The effect is already apparent here. Frustration is building up and chaos is only a heart beat away and can explode at any time.

Awareness programs are necessary to educate our people that there are difficult times ahead and development is not possible unless we till our land and learn sustainable methods of resource exploitation. Land is a vital resource and the foundation of livelihoods. Our people have to change the attitude of being a consumer society alone and grow food, maintain our livestock and learn how to use our fish resources.

Decreasing soil fertility leads to poor growth. Selective planting will not always be sufficient to prevent erosion. Where scopes are steep and it is difficult for protective trees and bushes to gain a foot hold, physical barriers can be constructed to ensure conservation of soil and water. The traditional practice of farming only millet {Elmi Jama} and maize should be changed. Modern practices of agriculture involve different crops, either in quick session {rotation} or simultaneously thus protecting soil from erosion. Charcoal trade is posing a serious threat to our environment and needs to be addressed quickly before it is too late.

Water conflicts have already started. In equalities in access to and control of water whether for agriculture or for domestic water supply often result in misuse by one group and water scarcity by another. There is increasing evidence that the efficiency of water use and the maintenance of systems improve dramatically when the people affected and using the scheme participate effectively in decision making and management. Shaba the private company that took over the water of Borama is a good example in this respect.

Water in the capital Hargeisa is controlled by the government and the water scarcity is very acute. This is because of mismanagement. Every effort has been made to persuade the government to take off its hands from this and privatize with no avail because this is one of sources of income that the administration uses for political purposes on the expense of the poor thirsty population.

Nobody escapes these challenges and there are no short cuts to progress. To address these challenges identified above and many others we must work hard together to sustain our livelihood. The role of the state as a facilitator must understand that meaningful livelihood and economic growth is not possible without democratic institutions that sustain it.

The politicization of the public service caused by organized clan pressures has often resulted in disorder and chaos thus permitting those in control to capture the resources of the country for their own ends and build up their power at the expense of the public. If this trend continues the livelihood that we are looking for is a distant possibility.

Email: kaalib33@hotmail.com


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