Somaliland CyberSpace

Rural Water Supply Assessment report

October 2007
Somalia Water and Land In formation Management
Ngecha Road, Lake View. P.O Box 30470-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel +254 020 4000300 - Fax +254 020 4000333,
Email: Website: http//

Rural Water Supply Assessment:

This report documents findings of an assessment carried out by SWALIM in three regions; Puntland, Somaliland and South-Central Somalia, to determine the situation of water supply in the rural areas of Somalia. The Somalia Water Sources Information Management System (SWIMS) national database was the main source of information to the study, alongside reports from previous studies and interviews with key partners in the water sector in Somalia. The report highlights the available water sources, technologies in use and water quality among others. The government authorities, donors and intervening agencies can make use of the report to determine priority intervention areas in meeting the demand for water in the rural areas of Somalia.

Executive Summary

SWALIM conducted a desk study assessment to determine the water supply situation in rural Somalia. The assessment was done in three regions: Puntland, Somaliland and South- Central Somalia. The Somalia Water Sources Information Management System (SWIMS) national database was the main source of data for the study. Reports from previous studies and interviews with key partners in the water sector in Somalia were also very fruitful during the assessment. The assessment involved review and analysis of available data and literature on existing water supplies. Interviews were conducted in Nairobi, Puntland and Somaliland with key players in the Somali water sector. Field visits to some water points were also made by two consultants, one in Puntland and another in Somaliland, to see the condition of the water sources and to interview operators and water users.

Conclusions for Somaliland were as follows:

1. More boreholes need to be established in Somaliland as a way of solving frequent water shortages during the dry season. There is however little information available on hydrogeology to identify the best locations for establishment of boreholes. A mechanism should be devised to make boreholes sustainable. Suggested options include the use of wind and solar energy for water pumping to minimize running costs.

The use of mono pumps was also considered viable, as they consume less fuel. Where there are multiple boreholes in the same area, power supply should be centralized to reduce running costs.

2. Shallow well aquifers in rural Somaliland are not well developed. Many of the shallow wells dry up in the Jilaal and Hagaa seasons.

3. There are many sources with water unsuitable for human consumption, but locals use them either out of ignorance or because they do not have an alternative. More awareness needs to be created regarding water quality.

4. The rate of berkad failure is alarming, with over 50% of berkads constructed breaking down within five years. The high failure rate is attributed to poor construction and maintenance routines. There is a need for development of standard construction guidelines to be used across the country.

5. Construction of sand storage dams, sub-surface storage dams or weirs, should be encouraged as ways of conserving water for long periods. With sand dams, water loss due to evaporation, which accounts for substantial amounts in open water bodies, is minimised.

6. There is a water policy for Somaliland, but the government lacks the capacity to impose it. Water regulations need to be approved by parliament, and the Ministry of Water and Mineral Resources capacitated for effective management of the water sector.

7. Water sources in rural Somaliland are managed either by committees, or individuals in the case of private sources. For sources administered by the Ministry, communities select the operators and the Ministry trains them and sets the water price. Due to weak governance in the public water sources by the Ministry, cost recovery moneys are always missing.

8. Hygiene facilities in rural Somaliland are limited; people live in poor sanitary conditions. Water availability is explained in terms of quantity, not quality. Much still needs to be done to promote improved hygiene and sanitation practices.

9. There is no proper coordination of public and private water sources in Somaliland. When establishing private water sources, many people do not conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to determine the effects of establishing the source on the environment.


4.1 Background

Somaliland is located in the north-west part of the former Somalia. It declared its independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 after the downfall of Sayid Barre regime. The total area of Somaliland is about 180 000 km2 with an estimated population of 2 million. About 60% of the population are pastoralists and agro-pastoralists living in the rural areas. The remaining 40% live in urban areas and villages, many of which were established at old traditional water sources such as natural depressions, shallow wells, earth dams and berkads. Such towns include Hargeisa, Burao, Borama, Las Anod and Ceerigabo.

The 1988 – 2001 civil war resulted in devastation of water sources and supply networks in Somalia. Most water sources in the rural areas were either destroyed intentionally by the government military or ceased to function due to lack of maintenance. According to the Ministry of Water and Mineral Resources (MWMR), there were nearly 65 operational boreholes in the rural areas of Somaliland before the outbreak of civil war. Many have since broken down, leaving only 25 operational at present. Rural communities have to rely on other water sources, mainly springs and shallow wells in the mountainous areas and the coastal plain, and berkads, balleys and earth dams at the Hawdi Plateau.

Water availability in Somaliland is dependent more on underground reservoirs than on surface water bodies, as there are no major rivers or other permanent surface waters in the country. However, berkads and earth dams contributed significantly to water availability in rural Somaliland before 1991. In the 1980s the Somali government, through the Rural Water Development Project funded by The World Bank, developed six earth dams with plastic pavement which had the capacity to last 3–4 months after the rains. At present, only three dams retain water for long periods. The other three collapsed due to poor maintenance, attributed mainly to lack of technical personnel. Many of the berkads could no longer be sustained owing to reduced income of pastoralists as a result of war and prolonged droughts.

The main economic water use in the country is livestock production. However, small-scale irrigation is also practiced in selected areas, mainly for horticultural products. Domestic consumption is also significant, especially in the dry season when water is very scarce. In the succeeding chapters, major surface and sub-surface water sources in Somaliland are discussed.

Surface Water Sources Somaliland

4.2 Surface Water Sources

Surface water supply in Somaliland is mainly dependent on rainwater in the months of April to June (the Gu season), and September to November (the Deyr season). The pattern of the rainy seasons is however changing with time, with prolonged periods of rain and drought frequently experienced. Rains can last for several hours, sometimes resulting in flash floods which, if harvested, can provide water for months afterwards. Springs, berkads and dams are the main surface water sources in Somaliland.

The local communities in Somaliland have adopted different means of coping with water shortages. In addition to the above-mentioned surface water sources, some agro-pastoralist households harvest and store rainwater in underground ditches with capacities of about 6 m3 which resemble berkads. The ditch is lined with a plastic sheet to prevent water from percolating into the soil. The water is used for household consumption and in some cases for irrigation. Twenty-litre jerrycans are also commonly used to store water in rural areas, as opposed to big plastic drums common in towns.

4.2.1 Berkads

Berkads are the major water sources in the Hawdi plateau since there are no permanent water sources there. Interviews conducted by SWALIM indicated that several attempts by the previous Somalia government to establish boreholes in the area failed due to the deep water table. There are thousands of berkads of various sizes in Galbeed, Sool and Togdheer regions, the highest concentration being in the last-named region. Use of berkads for water storage started recently in other regions. In Sanaag, ActionAid introduced the technology in the late 1990s, while in Awdal region berkads were introduced by COOPI in recent times. The number of berkads in each region is summarised below.

Table 4.1 Number of berkads in the Somaliland regions
Region No. of berkads
Togdheer 5000
Sool 2400
Awdal 100
Sanaag 100
Woqooyi Galbeed 40+
Source: SWIMS Database and field surveys
The berkads in Awdal and Galbeed regions are usually small, with a capacity of less than 300 m3 while the majority of those in Togdheer, Sool and Sanaag regions are greater than 300 m3. Unlike shallow wells and boreholes, destruction of the berkads during the civil war was limited, especially in Sool region. Figure 4.1 gives an example of a modern berkad constructed with concrete.

Evaporation accounts for significant water loss from berkads due to the high temperatures experienced in Somaliland. To reduce loss, local people cover berkads with locally available material e.g. tree branches and shrubs. The practice is however not common in Galbeed, where water scarcity is also not as serious as it is in other regions. The rate of berkad failure is very high. It is reported that in almost all districts less than 50% of berkads are functioning. In an interview with GRC, it was noted that in Berbera District of Galbeed Region there are more than 300 broken berkads.

Several factors contribute to berkad failure. GRC identified some of the common causes of failure as: i) Poor construction, where walls are constructed leaning directly on soil. Any soil movement exerts pressure on the berkad wall, causing it to crack. ii) Corner joints of the berkad wall are not well made, leading to leaks. iii) Pressure from plant roots cause the wall to crack. iv) The wrong ratio of cement to sand is used, weakening the wall and eventually resulting to cracks.

An assessment done by Caritas (2007) confirmed the same causes of failure. The study identified that before 1970, local people were keen to construct quality berkads that would last. However, there was a drastic decline in berkad quality starting in the 1970s. People concentrated more on cheap, fast berkad construction at the expense of quality.

To overcome the problem of weak corner joints, GRC designed round berkads which have proved to be more durable. Leaving a gap between the berkad wall and the soil, then backfilling with stone chips is another strategy GRC have adopted to prevent wall cracks due to pressure from soil and plant roots. Building stones are dressed on both sides to reduce plastering costs.

Much berkad rehabilitation work has been undertaken since 1992. Mink (2007) estimated the cost of constructing a berkad at 1 500 – 3 000 USD depending on size and construction material. The cost of rehabilitating one berkad is estimated to be between 1 200 – 2 000 USD, depending on the nature of the repair. Some organizations reported to be working on berkad rehabilitation are OXFAM, SWISS Group - Caritas, UNHCR, COOPI, ActionAid, Action Hamber and GRC. However, the rate of berkad failure is still high and more interventions are needed to cope with the situation.

The use of berkads as water sources however, has associated sanitary problems. Water in berkads is easily contaminated, especially in rural areas where sanitary facilities are poor. Human and animal waste contributes to the contamination. In some berkads visited, water was found to be yellow-brown in colour. Berkads are also breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

4.2.2 Dams

Dams are other surface water sources used in Somaliland. They range in size from small harvesting balleys and wars to big earth dams of capacity up to 150 000 m3. Six high capacity earth dams were built in rural Somaliland in the 1980s. Construction was funded by the World Bank to supply water for pastoralists along the Somalia - Ethiopia border. The dams had generator rooms, attendant rooms, animal troughs and kiosks. At present three of these dams are operational. Smaller capacity dams are also constructed, mainly by NGOs (see Figure 4.3) to boost water supply in rural areas. The SWIMS database shows that GRC have been working on 14 small dams in Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed Regions, both in establishment and other interventions activities. One such earth dam constructed by GRC near Berbera is a major local supply. It connected to a well, which has a pump for water lifting. Before the establishment of the dam, water supply was very scarce in this extremely dry area.

Dams can hold large quantities of water for long periods, and hence provide a good solution to water shortage in rural areas. However, dams are not very common in Somaliland. According to an interview with GRC, the following factors are a hindrance to the use of dams:
i) Lack of suitable dam construction sites where losses due to leakage will be minimal.
ii) High costs of construction, e.g. the six dams constructed in the 1980s cost between 80 000 – 100 000 USD each.
iii) Limited dam construction machinery in Somaliland.
iv) High maintenance costs due to occasional removal of silt deposits from dams.
v) Land degradation and erosion due to overgrazing, as dams tend to attract settlement in the surrounding areas.

Locating suitable sites for dam construction remains a big challenge, as all the above factors need to be considered. Water extraction from most surface water sources is manual, using a bucket and rope. Water is then transported either on donkey- or camel-back, and sometimes by women. Manual extraction however has several set backs, which include:
i) Water can be easily contaminated if not properly handled. Risk is higher when animals share the water source with human beings.
ii) People can easily fall into open sources and drown when fetching water.

Pumps are either manual or run by an engine. In some cases a storage tank and distribution network are also available. The use of a closed system minimises the risk of contamination but increases the chances of over-exploitation of the water reservoir. Surface Water Sources Somaliland

The motor-operated pumps use either fuel or electricity as their power source. There are no solar- or wind-powered pumps in Somaliland. Hand pumps are the most common of all pumps, but they frequently break due to poor handling, lack of spare parts and qualified maintenance.

Groundwater Sources Somaliland

4.3 Groundwater Sources

The low effective rainfall experienced in Somaliland calls for groundwater development as a viable solution to water shortages. Groundwater movement and availability varies from place to place, depending on the geology and hydrogeology of a particular area. In mountainous regions the water table is only a few meters below the surface, making shallow wells a common source of water. The depth of shallow wells in this area range from 5–20 m. On the plateaus the water table is quite deep, and only boreholes can be used for subsurface water supply during dry periods. Boreholes can reach depths of 400 m below the surface. There is however not much information available on the hydrogeology of Somalia, which hampers the success of deep drilling projects (SHAAC Consulting Co., 2006).

4.3.1 The geology and hydrogeology of Somaliland

Geomorphologically, Somaliland can be broadly classified into three zones. These are the Guban or Low Coastal Plain; Mountainous Range; and the Hawdi and Sool plateaus.
* The Guban/Low Coastal Plain is characterised by beach sand, coral reefs and gravel deposits, with a great number of valleys originating from the mountains (Faillace, 1986). Between Berbera and Bulahar there are volcanic outcrops of recent age. Average annual rainfall is less than 100 mm. Temperatures are generally high, ranging from 25°C in winter to 42°C in summer.
* The Mountainous Range is a rock formation consisting of limestone of the Aurado formation overlying a basement formation of granites, diorites, basalts and mica schists (Faillace, 1986). The area experiences annual rainfall of about 600 mm.
* The Hawdi and Sool plateaus extend from the foot of the mountains at Sanaag, through most of the Sool Region. The Sool plateau lies in the eastern part of Ethiopia and is characterised by sulphurous limestone (gypsum) outcrops known as the Taleh formation. The Hawdi plateau extends to the Ethiopian border and is characterised by Eocene limestone and sandstone covered by recent sand and clay. Towards the east, the predominant soils are grey to red clay (Faillace, 1986).

Groundwater recharge in Somaliland occurs mainly during the Gu season. Runoff from the higher rainfall mountainous areas infiltrates into alluvial fans formed by toggas in the coastal plain. Considerable amounts of runoff water are lost through evaporation as the water spreads out in the floodable areas of the coastal plains (Faillace, 1986). Water in the deep permeable layers is generally under semi-confined conditions.

Movement of groundwater from the mountains is in two directions: south to north towards the coastal plain, which coincides closely to the surface drainage; and north to south towards the Sool and Haud plateaus. According to Faillace (1986), both the hydrological and hydrogeological divides coincide to a certain extent. Water infiltrates along the faults and joints in the bare rocks and follows structural patterns. Movement of groundwater is accelerated by the rapid drop in elevation from the mountain areas to the plains. The water is discharged at various elevations through various springs found in the basement complex and the Mesozoic and Tertiary formations.

Groundwater Sources Somaliland

Investigations done by Faillace (1986) and Sogreah (1983) classified Somaliland into four hydrogeological zones, namely the mountainous zone, coastal belt, sloping plain and the plateau zone.

(i) Mountainous Zone

The mountainous zone is composed of several aquifers over a basement complex, Jurassic and Cretaceous formations, and Tertiary sedimentary, volcanic and alluvial deposits.

Basement Complex - is made up of four complexes with a variety of metamorphic and intrusive rocks. Groundwater is contained within fissures, mainly in upper weathered parts of various rocks. Fissures close up with depth, and hence can only store a small amount of water which seeps out through springs along streambeds and depressions. The basement complex is a major aquifer for springs, shallow wells and drilled wells in Woqooyi Galbeed region. Water from this complex has a wide range of salinities.

Jurassic Limestone - composed of blocks of stratified Jurassic limestone outcrops, down-faulted in the western parts (Borama area) and step-faulted in the escarpment towards the Gulf of Aden. The outcrops are highly fractured, jointed and folded. Groundwater discharge occurs through springs found mainly along deep valleys at the base of the limestone sequence or at the contact with the basement complex. Water from the limestone rock is generally of good quality.

Nubian Sandstone- is mainly found in the western part of the Haud Plateau, south of Hargeisa and Gebiley. It consists mainly of sand and friable sandstone, often crossbedded. In some cases it is hard and compact and forms rocky barriers across toggas. The sandstone is generally dry, except for the lowermost section which yields a little water. Water quality varies from good to marginal. Most of the thermal springs from the sandstone yield water of a sulphate type.

Auradu Limestone - extensively karstified and dissected by faults along a large belt forming the edge of the Gulf of Aden escarpment. It covers Ahl Mado mountain between Bossaso and Ceerigabo, and the Surud Ad mountain north-east of Ceerigabo. Water emerges through springs located on the slope of the escarpment, deep valleys or along the scarps. Yields from the Auradu limestone are higher in the mountain area south-east of Bossaso than in the Gulf of Aden escarpment. The quality of water is generally good.

Taleex Formation - found in scattered outcrops in the mountain zone between Sheikh, Berbera, Ceerigabo and Ahl Mescat mountain southeast of Bossaso. According to Faillace (1986) the contribution of this formation is minor. Alluvial Deposits - common along the riparian belts of major toggas, depressions and alluvial cones in the mountainous zone. Recent alluvial deposits store considerable amounts of water of good quality, used mainly for irrigation along the riparian belts. Water is extracted using large diameter hand-dug wells, 1-2 m deep.

(ii) Coastal Belt

The coastal belt is made up of recent beach sand, coral reef deposits and marine terraces. Small sand dunes 10-12 m high are common along the belt. It extends between 10-80 km in width, and can be divided into two parts - one near the coast formed of sedimentary formations of the end of the Tertiary and Quaternary covered by recent Aeolian deposits, and the other further inland consisting of thick deposits of the alluvial cones formed by toggas flowing through the mountains. Groundwater recharge is mainly by runoff water from toggas originating in the mountains. The belt has a continuous layer of fresh to brackish ground water floating over salty water. Faillace (1986) noted that the depth of water along the coast varies from 1-2 m in the terminal section of the streams reaching the sea, to 6- 8 m in the alluvial terraces between the streams. Water quality varies from place to place depending on the degree of mineralization, distance from the sea-shore, type of geological formation and the thickness of the aquifer penetrated by the well.

(iii) Sloping Plain

Extends 200 km along the Gulf of Aden, rising from sea level to 300 m asl near the foot of the mountain range. It mainly consists of volcanic outcrops. Investigations done by Sogreah (1983) on different areas of the plain gave the following results: in the Togga Waheen Sloping Plain, the aquifer is shallow and supplies little water of poor quality; in the Biji Sloping Plain, the thickness of the water-bearing alluvial fan is about 30 m. The plain has great potential for high-capacity wells for irrigation, and water is of good quality, with low TDS. Mineralisation increases towards the coastal belt; in the Durdur Sloping Plain, groundwater is generally of good quality, suitable for most uses. Yield is high, about 100 m3/hr for wells dug in this plain; for the Togga Sihil, information on groundwater potential is scarce, but water quality is excellent. Quality deteriorates towards the coast.

(iv) Plateaus

There are two main plateaus in Somaliland namely the Hawdi and Sool, which extend from the foot of the mountains at Sanaag across the Sool region.

Hawdi Plateau - a large, undulating plain covering the north-western part south of the mountainous zone. The southern part is flat, but the mountain area is hilly with several streams. Elevations range from 900-1 300m asl. Water generally has low levels of minerals but salinity increases downstream. The water table is very deep, and where water is found quantities are minimal. Boreholes are generally located near depressions or ephemeral water courses where recharge takes place from floodwater. The extremely deep water table makes boreholes a costly operation.

Faillace (1986) suggested exploitation of shallow aquifers along togga beds, development of surface runoff water and rain harvesting as feasible alternatives. Sool Haud and Sool Plateau - the two plateaus form a nearly flat terrain, gently sloping towards the Indian Ocean. Drainage occurs in flat depressions along which occasional floodwaters flow. The climate is very arid and hot, with annual rainfall ranging from 70 – 170 mm. Water resources on the Sool plateau are scarce, mainly in small semi-confined water-bearing limestone layers of the Karkar formation. Water quality is good. The drainage system is virtually undefined, but towards the coast it becomes relatively well developed. Along the northern edge of the Sool Haud plateau, water quality is good according to an investigation by GTZ (1986). The water table in the Sool Haud Plateau is at about 100 m, but in flood areas it is shallow, about 60 m.

4.3.2 Shallow wells

There are two types of shallow well found in Somaliland - those dug along the dry beds of seasonal rivers, and those dug or occurring natural away from river beds. Either type may be permanent or seasonal. In Figure 4.5 water is being drawn from a hand dug well using the bucket and rope method. Next to the well is a water trough for livestock.

The distribution density of shallow wells in different regions depends on the depth of the water table. In the mountainous regions of Somaliland the water table is generally shallower than on the plateaus, hence there are more shallow wells. It is rare to find shallow wells in the plateau. Along the coast, the water table is shallow but water quality is a major factor limiting use of groundwater. Many people interviewed confirmed that salinity is a major concern for the people along the coast.

The SWIMS database and information collected from partners in the field, showed the distribution of shallow wells in Somaliland to be as follows: Awdal Region: There are approximately 300 shallow wells dug along dry riverbeds (toggas) in this region. Most wells are found along alluvial deposits in the mountainous areas and along the coast. The average depth of shallow wells is approximately 5-6 m. About 25% of wells are lined, and 10% fitted with hand pumps. The quantity of water extracted could not be established, but water is used for domestic purposes, livestock and small-scale irrigation. Gabeed Region: It is estimated that there are about 465 shallow wells in Woqooyi Galbeed. Most wells are dug along dry riverbeds and banks, some having water all year round. Not all the wells are functional, as some were abandoned after drying out. Average depth of the wells is 8 m, 20% of which are lined with concrete rings. There are many INGOs and UN Agencies doing intervention on water sources in this region. ActionAid has lined 35 wells in Hulug, Arabsiyo, Agamsad, Bitiji, Dhalaad and Cell Giniseed areas. Water from wells is used for domestic purposes, livestock and small-scale irrigation.

Sanaag Region: Approximately 250 shallow wells are found in Sanaag Region. They are used to water livestock and for domestic purposes. Wells are on average 4 m deep. Few of them are protected, e.g. out of 10 wells found in Ceerigabo district, only three are protected, while one out of four wells in El-Afwein is protected. Along the coastal areas, wells are common in the alluvial deposits along dry riverbeds.

Togdheer Region: The number of shallow wells in this region is approximately 980, most wells being found in the dry bed of the Togdheer River. Water use includes both domestic and livestock, and in some cases small-scale irrigation particularly in the Beer, Burao and Odweine areas. The number of wells used for irrigation is estimated to be about 10%. There are several wells dug along embankments of old earth dams in Odweyne and Dhoqosaye areas, the wells extracting water seeping from the dams. Both human and livestock use water from these wells. Average depth of wells range from 3 - 8 m. Lining is generally done traditionally, using logs and tree trunks.

Sahil Region: Most shallow wells in Sahil Region are concentrated within the coastal plain, in Quaternary alluvial deposits. They are used by nomadic peoples during migration to the coastal plain in winter. According to a UNICEF (1999) survey, about 30% of wells were reported to be lined and fitted with mechanical pumping systems. Some wells have ceased functioning due to lack of spare parts and maintenance. As is the case for all other water sources, analysis on distribution of shallow wells in Somaliland is based on available information and it is expected that there may be many more. A detailed survey of water sources in the rural Somaliland would give a more accurate figure of the number of water sources and their status. Shallow wells need to be protected in order to improve sanitary conditions. This is not usually the case, as the majority of the wells are left open. Many wells are also unlined, due to the high cost of the exercise. Some NGOs interviewed estimated the cost of lining a well with two-inch diameter concrete rings up to 10 m depth to cost between 1 800 – 2 200 USD. The technology used to lift water from shallow wells is at times dependent on economic activities in an area. For the shallow wells used by pastoralists, most water extraction is done manually, using a rope and bucket. Hand pumps are used to lift water from lined shallow wells. The most common type of hand pump in Somaliland is the Ardev model.

UNICEF, OXFAM GB and other organizations installed many hand pumps. The pumps were installed from the late 1990’s, but surprisingly the majority are no longer working. The main cause of failure is improper handling by the users, lack of spare parts, and lack of technical expertise to maintain and repair them. Where irrigation is practiced, shallow wells are mainly fitted with centrifugal pumps, the most common type being the Robin model, which is available in the local market. Submersible pumps are mainly used in boreholes, Grandfos and Caprari being the most common models in Somaliland.

Management of water sources is usually done by local committees. Whenever a water source develops problems, either with the pump or generator, then the management committees are not capable of undertaking repairs. They turn to the Ministry of Water and Mineral Resources or other intervention agencies for assistance.

4.3.3 Boreholes

Boreholes in Somaliland are machine-drilled, with a common practice to line boreholes and put in the necessary screens. Where extra funds are available, the borehole is connected to a reservoir and distribution system. The MWMR estimates that before 1988 there was a total of 205 boreholes in urban and rural Somaliland. Some boreholes were drilled by the Somali government, while the majority were drilled by other agencies, mainly INGOs and UN agencies. The regional distribution of boreholes is as shown in Table 4.2 below.

Table 4.2 Distribution of boreholes in Somaliland by region
Rural Urban IDP Camp Total
Awdal 19 20 - 39
Galbeed & Sahil 12 55 20 87
Togdheer 8 33 - 41
Sool 7 8 - 15
Sanaag 9 14 - 23
At present, only 25 (45%) of the 55 boreholes in rural Somaliland are operational. The names of current operational boreholes in each region are given in the table 4.3 below.

Table 4.3 Operational boreholes in regions of Somaliland

Region No. of boreholes
Name/s of boreholes & distances (km) to other permanent sources
Awdal 5 Jidhi (30), El Gaal (30), Kalowle (50), Kadhodhle (50), Lanta
(30) & Dilla (30)
Galbeed & Sahil 3 Geed Baladh (40), Dameero Boob (40), Jifto (-).
Togdheer 4 Kabadheer (15), Livestock (15), Sabakti (12), Gawamo (40).
Sool 5 Qabri Huluul (50), Wadamo Go (50), Oog (50), Gadka (80),
Awr Bogeys (90).
Sanaag 8 Lanqiciye (15), Darar Weyne (90), Yube (65), Xingalool (60),
Carmale (35), Bargta Qol (40), Dhahar (40), El Buh (35).
Broken-down boreholes are either under rehabilitation or are totally abandoned. Annex 1 shows the locations of some of the broken down boreholes according to the MWMR. Some boreholes fail right from the drilling stage. According to the MWMR, several factors contribute to unsuccessful drilling, among them being:
i) Lack of sufficient hydrogeological data of underground aquifers before commencing the drilling exercise. Boreholes are abandoned after they turn out to be completely dry, or produce too little water to justify the drilling cost.
ii) Lack of required experience in operation and maintenance of drilling rigs. Some private companies buy drilling rigs which they do not have the necessary skills to operate. Such companies use the rigs without registering with the MWMR. Although the ministry does not have drilling rigs, it has experienced staff who could assist companies if the two cooperated.
iii) Poor condition of some drilling rigs imported to Somaliland. Some rigs are not designed to drill in reverse circulation, whereas most areas of Somaliland have cavities which require this method of drilling. The rigs end up breaking during drilling, or lose the drilling bits and pipes which leads to abandonment of the borehole.
iv) Lack of required materials, spare parts, drilling accessories and tools during the drilling operations, resulting in unnecessary delays or complete abandonment of the exercise.

In cases where a drilling exercise has to be abandoned halfway, heavy losses are incurred. According to UNDP the cost of drilling one meter of borehole is between 100 – 120 USD, excluding the cost of casing. It would save time and resources if drilling was to be done only after verification of the aquifer and equipment.

Apart from the above-mentioned public boreholes, there have been many private developers drilling boreholes from the late 1990’s. In Togdheere region for example, there are more than 15 private boreholes used mainly for irrigating farms, and those near Burao for waterbottling industry. Borehole depth in this region range between 145–180 m, with static water level ranging from 95-120 m.

In the dry season, boreholes are quite useful to rural communities for water supply as they are the main permanent water sources in Somaliland. Tankers are used to ferry water from boreholes over long distances. The cost of trucked water is however too high when compared to locally available water. A 20 litre jerrycan costs between 0.05 and 0.1 USD when water is locally available. When water is trucked for a distance of 60-90 km, the same amount of water costs 0.4 USD, an 80% increase which is significant, considering that pastoralists may have many animals requiring watering.

4.3.4 Springs

In Somaliland, springs occur mainly in the Sahil, Awdal and Galbeed regions. There are approximately 20 perennial springs in Sahil region, most of which are located in the mountainous areas.

Text Box 4.1 Major springs in the Sahil Region
* Giyo Gure spring, which used to be the main source of water for Berbera town and the nomadic population living in the surrounding. However, in recent times water from the spring is being diverted to irrigation farms and livestock at the expense of the domestic supply to Berbera town.
* Dubaar, a hot spring used to supply water to Berbera town by gravity flow. It is also one of the major water sources for pastoralists and their livestock. There are a few farms irrigated by water from this spring.
* Bihin spring, located 50 km south of Berbera. It is used mainly for irrigation and is a source of water for the pastoralists.
* Las Cidle, a thermal spring located 70 km north-east of Berbera. It is the major source of water for pastoralists during winter.

In Awdal region, eight springs are recorded in the SWIMS database. A UNICEF (1999) survey also identified six of these springs in Awdal. The springs are found in the mountainous regions of Baki and Lughaya districts. Both humans and livestock use the spring water directly from source, which increases the chances of water contamination. Galbeed region has a total of eight springs: seven in Hargeisa and one in Gebiley district. The springs are situated in mountainous areas and none are equipped with a pump. They are used mainly for livestock and domestic use. The assessment could not establish the current status and capacity of individual springs.

Water Quality Somaliland

4.4 Water Quality

Water quality is a major concern in the rural Somaliland. During water scarce periods, many people appreciate any available water, disregarding the quality. Water-related diseases are common while the health facilities are not well developed in the region. The rural communities receive health services from scattered Mother and Child Health centres (MCH), numbering less than ten in every region. The MCH receive medical drugs every three months from UNICEF and the Somaliland Red Crescent Association. Only district capitals and major towns in Somaliland have hospitals.

The majority of the water sources in Somaliland are open, making them susceptible to all sorts of contaminations. There is no well organised system of checking the quality of water from these sources. In the whole of Somaliland, only one laboratory exists at the MWMR Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland. Many of the berkads and dams are risk contamination from faecal bacteria. Figure 4.6 shows green-coloured water in a berkad.

To be able to meet the MDGs related to safe drinking water, many of the open sources need to be covered and installed with pumps for water extraction. Further, frequent water quality tests need to be performed on the water sources to determine the suitability of water for human and even animal consumption. This calls for consolidated efforts amongst the different stake holders to build the capacity for monitoring water quality and proper hygiene standards. SWISS Group introduced the PHAST training approach, which is reportedly successful.

Water Use and Demand Somaliland

4.5 Current Water Use and Demand

Water in rural Somaliland is used for domestic consumption, watering livestock and in some cases for irrigation.

4.5.1 Domestic water use

The international water requirements are not applicable to rural communities in Somaliland, due to extreme water scarcity. The basic water requirement may be as low as 4 – 6 litres per day. Water use is minimal, particularly in the Jilaal season when water has to be brought by trucks from permanent water sources.

During and soon after the rainy season, girls and their mothers fetch water from ponds and dams. They either carry the water in jerrycans themselves, or use donkeys. The distance travelled to the water sources and back is usually 5–10 km during the wet season. However, as the dry season approaches, surface water sources and some shallow wells start drying up, increasing distance travelled to water sources to as much as 20 km. Distance to the water source is mainly governed by pasture availability. Men and boys go to distant water sources for livestock watering and domestic uses in the dry season, using camels to transport water. Sometimes agro-pastoralists and their livestock are required to make a 36 km or more round trip to reach water points such as the Geed Balaadh, Dameeroboob, Qabrihuluul and Xingalool boreholes, in the Jilaal season.

4.5.2 Livestock

The main source of income among the citizens of Somaliland is livestock. More than 60% of citizens live on rearing and selling of livestock and their products. The national economy is dependent on the exportation of livestock to the Gulf states. There are no exact figures on the number of animals exported each year from Somaliland, but it is estimated that on average 1 095 000 shoats, 6 500 camels and 73 000 oxen are exported annually through the port of Berbera.

Surface water sources rarely meet the demand for livestock water, especially during the dry season. Interviews indicated that establishment of new permanent water points in the grazing plateaus, which are purely pastoralist areas, are resisted because the owners of existing berkads want to make a living through the sale of water. There is also a fear that permanent sources will attract permanent settlement and irrigated agriculture at the expense of grazing land.

4.5.3 Irrigated agriculture

Irrigated agriculture is practiced in all regions of Somaliland. Most farms are small in size, between 0.5–2 ha. Irrigation farms are mainly concentrated in the mountainous escarpments (northern and southern parts), along the banks of the dry riverbeds and the coastal plain in Sahil Region where water is extracted from the alluvial deposits with some aquifers and springs. Major crops are vegetables, onions, carrots, tomatoes and watermelons. Fruits grown are oranges, guavas and limited quantities of mangos. They supply the local market in the major towns.

Water extraction for irrigation is between 1–10 m3/hr. Most farms use centrifugal pumps, though manual extraction is also common.

For large farms of 20–35 ha., significant amounts of water are required for irrigation, and a different water source from the communal system is used. In Burao, over 15 new boreholes were established for irrigation agriculture.

4.5.4 Price of water

Water costs vary from one region to another, as does the question of who should pay for it. In many cases, water prices depend on season and the relationship between the source owner and user. During wet periods, family members and friends often get water free of charge. However, in extremely dry periods they pay reasonable amounts, depending on their economic status. For the berkads, people coming from outside a village who are not known by the owner are charged for water. According to Mink (2007), charges are initially low, since the berkad owner does not know their economic status. After making investigations lasting two to three weeks, the owner adjusts the price accordingly. Water prices range from 0.03–0.1 USD per 20 litre jerrycan; when tankers are used, costs go up to 0.25–0.42 USD for the same 20 litre jerrycan. The cost of water bought for livestock is proportional to the amount of water consumed. As a result, the wealthy end up paying more than the poor since they have large numbers of animals. Extremely poor people are either charged very little or nothing at all. Normally, it is the owner of the source who makes decisions on whether users pay for water or not. However, elders also discuss the issue and determine who is poor enough to be exempted from paying for water.

4.5.5 Projected water needs

Projection of water demands requires data on existing water-use patterns, household incomes, preferred service levels and willingness to pay for them. The current water sources are stressed, and an increase in numbers of livestock and opening of new land for irrigation would worsen the situation. Increases in human population are also expected to contribute significantly to increasing water demand.

4.5.6 Socio-economic context

Water is highly valued in Somaliland. During British rule, there was a strictly-administered law on water and grazing used to solve pastoralists’ disputes. Water points were previously owned by a tribe or clan, but the law was changed to allow private ownership which led to the construction of many private berkads, shallow wells and boreholes.

After the fall of the Sayid Barre regime in 1991, many existing water sources were destroyed by clan members themselves, in the fear that other non-clan member pastoralists would be attracted to water sources. The “foreigners”, according to the pastoralists, would bring parasites and cause land degradation through excessive grazing. Efforts by some organizations to revive destroyed boreholes did not yield any fruits. UNICEF for example rehabilitated a borehole in Wariidad village in 1995 following a request by a local NGO. The clan then made arrangements to have the generator looted. One year later OXFAM rehabilitated the borehole, but the generator was again looted with the full consent of the clan.

In 2003, OXFAM in its drought mitigation program tried to re-drill a borehole at Qordheer after a request by the regional authority and some town elders. Soon after the rig arrived, armed militias were organised by the pastoralists belonging to that clan to prevent drilling from taking place. Long discussions were held with the regional administration, but no agreement was reached. The drilling was abandoned, despite the area being one of the areas most affected by drought.

Poor communication and failure of project implementers to engage community members at all stages of the project cycle seriously undermine chances of success. It is common practice by international development agencies to initiate projects without involving the local community. Some agencies are located away from the community, and there is no proper means of communication between them and the locals. Locals in return do not trust the agencies, no matter how good the project is, as they regard it being imposed by foreigners. Again, locals do not get an opportunity to interact with agencies and gain required skills for operation and maintenance of water sources. The role filled by agencies is never appreciated, and eventually the water project is abandoned.

Analysis of Major Issues Somaliland

4.6 Analysis of Major Issues

Environmental and institutional issues identified in the assessment are discussed below.

4.6.1 Environmental, sanitation and health issues

Somaliland, like many other developing countries, does not have clear hygiene and sanitation policies. Such policies are written, but the lack of structure and coherence makes them ineffective. Hygiene and sanitation standards are poor in rural Somaliland due to limited facilities, and water sanitation practices are seldom observed. The availability of water is explained in terms of quantity and not quality. Much still needs to be done to promote hygiene and sanitation practices.

4.6.2 Institutional and policy issues

The Ministry of Water and Mineral Resources (MWMR) is the governmental entity responsible for regulating the entire water sector and its various actors. The ministry developed a regulatory framework for the water sector with the following elements: – The National Water Policy - a general statement of principles and guidelines to indicate the proper way to develop the water sector and thus to conduct interventions in the sector.
– The National Water Strategy - objectives, priorities, detailed measures and role-sharing that allow the policy to be implemented.
– The Water Act - establishes the legal framework supporting the strategy (or translating the strategy into legal provisions and institutional arrangements), defining organisations, mandates and responsibilities, as well as procedures, obligations and interdictions in a general way.

The National Water Policy expresses the will of the government for the development of the water sector, and must be considered by anyone involved in the sector as the directive framework for their actions. Any action undertaken in the water sector in Somaliland must comply with this policy and the rest of the regulatory framework developed for the sector.

Water sources in rural Somaliland are managed either by committees, or individuals in the case of private sources. For sources administered by the ministry, the community select the operators and the ministry trains them and sets the water price. Operators are supervised by the elders on behalf of the ministry. Money collected from water sales is divided into three: salaries of the operators; operational costs such as fuel and oil; and cost recovery collections. Unfortunately, the cost-recovery money is always missing due to weak governance by the ministry. In case of breakdowns the elders report to the ministry for action to be taken.

Conclusions and Recommendations Somaliland

4.7 Conclusions and Recommendations

From the desk study assessment of the rural water supply and demand for Somaliland, the following is a summary of the key findings:
- Water is a major concern for the rural Somaliland, with 90% of the rural population having no access to safe drinking water.
- Berkads, earth dams and open shallow wells are the major sources of water for rural communities. Unfortunately, the same sources have the highest risk of contamination.
- During the dry season the majority of village water sources dry up. About 60% of the population depend on water from tankers during this period.
- There are many sources of water unsuitable for human consumption, but locals use them either out of ignorance or because they do not have an alternative. More awareness is required regarding water quality.
- Boreholes in Somaliland have high running costs due to high fuel costs, and wages for attendants. Nothing is put aside for borehole repairs in case of breakdown.
- The rate of berkad failure in Somaliland is very high. More than 50% of the existing berkads across the country cannot retain water.
- Massive livestock losses during the drought of 2000-2005 affected the economic stability of the rural communities, making it difficult for locals to establish new water sources or rehabilitate new ones.
- Little information is available on the hydrogeology of the rural areas of Somaliland.
- Lack of training and skills is a major cause of pump failure across Somaliland.
- Shallow well aquifers in rural Somaliland are not well developed. Many shallow wells dry up during the Jilaal and Hagaa seasons.
- Rainwater harvesting is not fully utilised in Somaliland. Earth dams and roof catchments are some areas suggested for consideration.
- Government water policy needs to be imposed by the MWMR and the water regulation approved by parliament of Somaliland for the water sector to perform efficiently.
- An inventory of water sources in Somaliland and their status is necessary to evaluate supply and demand of water in rural Somaliland.
- There is no proper coordination of public and private water sources in Somaliland. In the establishment of the private water sources, many people do not conduct an EIA to determine environmental effects of establishing the source.
- The establishment of permanent water sources affects available grass areas, and hence does not always meet with favour from pastoralists.

From these findings, it is clear that the water sector in rural Somaliland needs to be improved to be able to meet the MDGs. Different approaches are required for each source type:
Boreholes and shallow wells:
1. Lining of shallow wells and well-head protection should be practiced when establishing new water sources and renovating existing ones. This would reduce chances of water contamination from the surface.
2. Sharing of water sources by humans and animals should be discouraged for reasons of hygiene . Where the same source has to be used for both purposes, then animal water intake points should be kept a safe distance from human intake points. Conclusions and Recommendations Somaliland
3. More boreholes need to be established in Somaliland as a way of solving frequent water shortages during the dry season. A mechanism should be devised to make the boreholes sustainable. Some viable mechanisms would include:
i) The use of solar energy to pump water. There are 12 hours of daily sunshine in Somaliland throughout the year, which can be used to save on generator fuel costs. A pilot project by UNICEF in central Somalia showed good results.
ii) Use of wind as an alternative source of energy for running pumps. British meteorological records showed that the wind intensity is high enough to operate windmills.
iii) Installation of mono pumps. Such pumps have low fuel consumption, minimizing running costs. The use of these pumps at Erigabo town was successful.
iv) Centralizing power supply to reduce running costs where there are multiple boreholes in the same area.

Dams and berkads

1. Where possible, construction of sand storage dams, subsurface storage dams or weirs should be encouraged as a way of conserving water for longer periods. With sand dams, water loss due to evaporation is minimised.
2. Berkad construction methods need to be revised to minimize failures.

Standard construction guidelines need to be developed and implemented.

1. Spring waters need to be tapped and conveyed in a safer way than at present. Communities need to be enlightened as to the usefulness of these free water sources and the need to invest in their development.
2. For springs originating from mountainous areas, the establishment of pipe networks to convey water down-slope might be an expensive but worthwhile course of action, as it would not only convey water to specific points but improve sanitary conditions as well.

The assessment recommends institutional and organization capacity building through:
1. Upgrading the capacity of the MWMR to enforce water regulation and fulfilment of the ministry’s obligation in the water sector.
2. Establishment of a water and sanitation committee at national, regional and district levels. These committees would have the mandate of monitoring the performance of the water sources and enlightening the community on the best operational and hygiene standards.

References Somaliland


Faillace, C. & Faillace, E.R. (1986). Water Quality Data Book of Somalia. Hydrogeology and Water Quality of Northern Somalia. Vol 1.
Gleick, H.P. (1996). Basic Water Requirements for Human Activities: Meeting Basic Needs. Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security. USA.
Mink A. (2007). Report of Backstopping Mission to Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Northwest Somalia Implemented by Caritas.
SHAAC Consulting Company (2006). Draft Report for Hydrogeological Investigation for 13 Sites for Cosob Water Well Drilling Company.
Sogreah (1983). North West Region Agricultural Development Project. Feasibility Study and Technical Assistance, Technical Report No.16, Hydrogeology. SWIMS (2007). Somalia Water Sources Information Management System (SWIMS) National Database
UNICEF (1999). Inventory of Permanent Water Sources in Somaliland. World Health Organization (1996). Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality, Vol II, 2nd Edition, WHO, Geneva.

Appendices Somaliland

Annex I. Inoperative boreholes in Somaliland

No Location Source- type- Financing organization- Failure date
1 Waridaad – Sool region Borehole UNHCR 1994
2 EL-Gal- Awdal region Borehole UNDP/OPS 1995
3 Jidh – Awdal Region Borehole UNDP/OPS 1995
4 Qalah- NW region Borehole UNDP/OPS 1996
5 Dameerboob.NW region Borehole UNDP/OPS 1996
6 Salahlay – NW region Borehole UNHCR 1998
7 T. Wajaale –NW region Borehole COOPI 1998
8 Geel Lookor – Sahil region Borehole COOPI 1998
9 Carmale – Sanaag region Borehole UNHCR 1998
10 Buloxaar- Sahil region Test well COOPI 2001
11 Laalays- sahil region Borehole COOPE 2001
12 Koosar Burao Borehole UN- Habitat 2001
13 Burao Orphanage- Togdheer region Borehole UNHCR 2002
14 Gawamo – Togdheer region Borehole Oxfam GB 2004
15 Sharmaarke – NW region Borehole Gibb Africa 2004
16 Agabar Borehole Test well Gibb Africa 2004
17 Slaughter house Hargeisa Borehole UNDP 2005
18 White sand village Borehole Private 2005
19 Jiifto – Sahil region Borehole SRCS 2005
Source: MWMR
Annex II. Descriptions of selected boreholes in Somaliland Yube Borehole
Dug by the Chinese government in June 1987 to a depth of 160 m., this borehole is tapped in the Taleh formation of Gibson anhydrate, which is characterised by brackish water. The borehole has never been equipped with a pump.
Darar weyne Borehole
The borehole was dug by the Chinese government in 1987 to a depth of 220 m. Static water level is 105 m, and well yield is 3 m3/hour. It is tapped in the Taleh formation of Gibson anhydrate, characterised by brackish water. The borehole operates 22 hours/day in both the Hagaa and Jilaal seasons. Twenty litres of water is sold at 0.15 USD. The well is used by pastoralists and their livestock; the only animals watered are shoats due to the limited yield.
El Afweyne borehole
The borehole was dug by the Chinese in 1987 and rehabilitated by UNICEF in 1997. The generator was looted one month after rehabilitation. In 2004 the community re-installed the generator. The borehole was to supply water to El Afweyne town. However, the pipeline provided by UNICEF is insufficient to carry water to the centre of the town. Tankers fetch water from the borehole during extreme dry seasons. Water price is not fixed, and tankers pay according to their agreement/s with the watchmen of the boreholes.
Lanqiciye borehole
The borehole was drilled by the British in 1959, and was the first borehole in the area. It is tapped in Aurado limestone with fresh water. Borehole depth is 124 m, with the static water level at 94 m. It yields 12 m3/hr. During drilling, the EC value of water was 1 090 ?S/cm. Initially the borehole was drilled to supply water to Erigabo town, but the supply has been extended to include pastoralists and agro-pastoralists living in the surroundings. Twenty litres of water are sold for 0.08 USD. The borehole is currently not functioning due to a damaged pump.
Hingalool borehole
The 113.35 m deep borehole is said to have been drilled in 1985 by the Chinese government. The static water level is 59.93 m. |During the dry season the borehole produces about 155 m3/day. According to the operator the pump (housed in a 6” casing) stopped functioning in July 2004. There are four generators in the generator room, two Listers which are functioning, and two Dutz which are not functioning. The current source of water is another borehole drilled by villagers but the salinity is very high and has a very low yield. Conductivity was measured at 6.38 mS. A 200 litre barrel of water is sold at 0.3 USD. However, when water is trucked from the closest borehole sources at Ceelbuh (60 km), Dhahar (70 km) and Buran (90 km), the same 200 litre barrel costs 3.6 USD. The borehole is connected to a water tank of 2 000 m3 capacity. The previous tank of 10 000 m3 has broken down.
Lithological profile of the Hingalool Borehole
Depth (m) Description of lithology
1-13m Arenaceous clay, with limestone debris
30m Mudstone, grey with content of gypsum and calcareous.
42.97m Mudstone, grey with content of calcareous and gypsum crystal.
49.25m Limestone grey with calcareous contents.
56m Mudstone, grey with brown red bands.
68m Limestone, grey with brown- red bands.
75m Mudstone, grey with brown- red bands
83m Muddy limestone, grey- green, small karst hole at 81.56m
95m Mudstone grey –green with bedding on bottom.
109m Dolomitic limestone, grey with karst holes at 95m
120.19m Mudstone – grey- green.

Beragaha qol Borehole (N: 9°33’32.43” E: 48°29’24.28”)
The borehole is in Dhahar district, with a population of approximately 9 000 persons. There is an abandoned borehole in the neighbourhood, 200 m deep with the static water level at 130 m. The borehole was reported to have been drilled by Aqua Company in 1987, but stopped functioning in 2003 due to a faulty pump housed in an 8” diameter casing. The generator house has an earthen floor. There are two inoperative 27 kVA generators. According to the operator, one generator has a faulty dynamo while the other has a problem with its regulator. There is a cracked masonry ground tank of 15 m3 capacity next to the borehole. There is a tap stand feeding from the tank but the connecting pipes are rusted and broken. Existing animal troughs are neither in a reusable state nor are they connected to a feeder pipe. Dhahar Borehole (N: 9°45’22.74” E: 48°49’22.45) This borehole was drilled by the Somaliland government in 2004 to a depth of 170 m. It is tapped in Gibson anhydrate know as the Taleh formation, and yields 30 m3 of water/hour. Water from this borehole is hard, but no chemical analysis has been done. It supplies water to both urban and rural communities living in the surroundings of Dhahar village. Thousands of head of livestock receive water from this borehole during the Jilaal and Hagaa seasons.
Lithological profile of the Dhahar Borehole
Depth (m) Description of lithology
0-15.57m Arenaceous clay, yellow- brown with sand and gravel
22m Dolomite limestone grey hard brittle,
58m Muddy limestone, grey, close brittle.
70m Limestone, leakage at 66.56m.
98.99m Interbedded with mudstone and limestone.
113.00m Limestone grey hard leakage at 108.47m
123.0m Mudstone yellow, with grey green mudstone
141.47m Limestone yellow with grey green mudstone.
164.60m Mudstone, dark grey light grey with clam and conch fossils.
El Buh borehole
This borehole is 164.35 m deep, with a static water level of 137 m. It yields 39.42 m3/hour. There is a metal 8m3 water tank. Water is used for both human and animal (shoats) consumption. It was rehabilitated by UNICEF in 2002.
Kabadheere Borehole
This borehole is located 5 km south of Burao town and was drilled by the Chinese to a depth of 185.61 m.
The static water level is 90.29 m, with a screen at 114.25-180.94 m. Well yield is 242 m3/day; TDS- 1.03g/L;
Lithological profile of the Kabadheer Borehole Depth (m) Description of lithology Arenaceous clay, yellow brown ingredient, quartz, feldspar limestone debris, loose. 0-25m 28m Arenaceous rock with gravel Pellitic limestone with sand , grey ingredient of sand quartz and feldspar. 48m Mudstone- red- brown and mixed colours with fine and smooth strainslip section 68m 86.7m Politic limestone with sand , sand gravel, good roundness Limestone of chert nodules, rich in chert nodules on the top, hard 5-10 cm in diameter. 109m 112m Shale, yellow, developed foliation. Sandstone, grey, medium sized sand, quartz feldspar, with small content of gravel. 123m Sandstone, grey medium sized sand ,mainly fine gravel fine gravel occasionally 185.71m There are two boreholes drilled recently, one by OXFAM GB (Gawaano borehole) and the other by UNDP (Lanta Morhida borehole). The cost of drilling a new borehole is between 120-200 USD/meter. The cost of drilling a 150 m deep borehole with casing and pump test would cost approximately 35 000 and 40 000 USD using percussion rigs and rotary rigs respectively.
Jiifto borehole
GRC established a borehole (Jiifto borehole) 25 km from Berbera town in April 2005. This is the only permanent water source in the area. A previous borehole in the same area was vandalised during the civil war, leaving only water tankers supplying water during dry periods. It serves nomadic people and their livestock in the rural areas of Berbera. It is mainly used in the January to March period (Jilaal season). In the Hagaa season (July to August) the temperatures are too high for the animals to survive there, so they are migrated to other areas. It provides water for camels on transit to the airport for export as well. The use of the borehole for domestic purposes is limited by high salinity levels, but locals have been reported to use the water for domestic purposes when they do not have other sources. The borehole is 86 m. deep with static water level at 81.6 m. The hydrogeological survey done before the drilling had recommended the depth of the borehole to be about 100 m so as to penetrate into a potential semi-confined aquifer, while at the same time avoiding seawater intrusion if the borehole was too deep. Drilling was done by a TOGSOL contractor, between 7th January 2005 and 15th April 2005. Water quality tests after drilling was complete gave the following results: PH of 7.6; colour <2.5 Mg pt/l; turbidity <2.5 M/T/l; EC (250C) 2700 S/cm. GRC fitted the borehole with a KSB pump, a pump house, a guard house, distribution network with a storage tank of 15 cubic meters, pipe outlets and animal troughs.
The Jiifti borehole was handed over to Berbera municipality upon completion for management. Initially, locals refused to pay for the water, but later resolved to pay for animal, but not human, consumption. The Berbera municipality pay 300 USD per month to the water agency for the maintenance and regular inspection of the borehole. However, failure by the municipality to pay for a period of one and half years caused problems, and somebody went and short-circuited the pump. The pump replacement was supposed to be shared by GRC and the municipality. GRC provided half the funds, but the municipality was unable to raise the other half. An NGO offered to replace the pump, and the money contributed by GRC was refunded. UNDP boreholes: UNDP was mandated to oversee the drilling of 13 boreholes across Somaliland, awarded by the Sheek Zaid Foundation. Hydrogeological and geophysical surveys were carried out by SHAAC consulting company to determine the best sites. An EIA was done for the proposed sites and eight boreholes were contracted for drilling.
Thirteen locations for proposed UNDP boreholes
Geographic coordinates (decimal
No Location Region District degrees)
Longitude Latitude
1 Farodeero (Berbera) Saahil Berbera 45.08448 10.24065
2 Sheekh Saahil Sheekh 45.19078 9.93171
3 Zaylac Awdal Zaylac 43.47442 11.35235
4 Laagta Morohda Awdal Zaylac 43.26202 10.84678
5 TogWajaale (Geed
Balaadh) Northwest Gabiley 43.43114 9.48456
6 Faroweyne Northwest Faroweyne 43.67054 9.33311
7 Bali Gabadle Northwest Bali
Gubadle 44.00031 8.99921
8 Salaxlay Northwest Salaxlay 44.2069 9.02877
9 Xaaji Saalax Togdheer Oddweyne 45.24145 8.59012
10 Yagoori Sool Caynabo 46.9656 8.75274
11 Lafaweyne Sool Hudun 47.42626 9.07401
12 Hadaaftimo Sanaag Badhan 48.1051 10.76187
13 Carmaale Sanaag Ceerigabo 47.96029 10.47855
Cosob Drilling Company was contracted to drill the boreholes. Three have so far been drilled (Farodeero, Laagta-Morohda and Zeyla). A fourth borehole is underway at the time of this report, and a fifth was commissioned for drilling on 29th January 2007. Cost of drilling a borehole estimated at 100 – 120 USD per meter. This does not however cover the cost of casing, if required. After drilling, UNICEF provides the other facilities (pumphouse, generator, pump, pipeline, storage tank, etc).

Farodeero borehole

Samples collected at two-meter intervals during drilling gave the following geological results.
Lithological log for Farodeero borehole
Depth (m) Description of Lithology
0 - 4 Top soil medium to fine sand
4 - 6 Fine Sand with gravel
6 - 10 Coarse sand with gravel
10 - 14 Gravel with thin layer of clay
14 - 16 Coarse to medium sand
16 - 20 Gravel small grained well rounded
20 - 40 Coarse gravel of different origin
40 - 48 Dark grey highly weathered basement
48 - 60 Dark grey compact and hard fresh basement
Discharge test The discharge test of the borehole was characterized by a fairly steady yield with an average discharge of 19 m3/hr and a specific capacity of 0.88 m³/hr/m. Recovery rate was also very fast, 95% within the first 14 minutes after switching off the pump. Full recovery was achieved in 40 minutes.

Laagta-Morohda borehole

Well lithology tests done during drilling gave the results below.
Depth (m) Description of Lithology
0 - 6 Reddish brown fine texture silty clay top soil.
6 - 20 Red clays. Heavy clays with sand.
20 - 56 Coarse alluvial sand with fragments of rock.
56 - 70 Gravel with sand.
70 - 86 Coarse sand with fragments of rocks.
86 - 98 Coarse gravely conglomerate of different origin (alluvial gravels). The conglomerate
consists of reworked rock fragments such as quartzite, gneiss, schist.
98 - 106 Coarse sand with fragments of rock.
106 - 120 Very dark gravel coarse-textured formation. Conglomerate – consisting of gravel and
pebbles of Precambrian basement rock with fragments.
120- 148 Red heavy clays. Layer consists predominantly of red clay.
148- 162 Medium sand alluvial (1st Significant Aquifer).
162- 166 Black coarse gravel – basalt sample fragment.
164- 175 Grey coarse alluvial sand with gravel.
175 - 178 Black coarse gravel – basalt sample fragment.
178 - 192 Coarse alluvial sand with gravel.
192 - 194 Black coarse gravel- basalt sample fragment.

Discharge test
Tests gave a fairly steady yield with an average discharge of 12.73 m3/hr and an average specific capacity of 5.59 m3/hr/m. The recovery rate was fairly fast.
Water quality analyses for Lagta-morohda borehole
A water sample obtained at the end of the constant discharge test and analysed for water quality gave the results below. The water was found to be of good quality, though temperature was high.
Zeylac borehole
Tests done on well lithology during drilling are summarised in the table below.
Depth (m) Description of Lithology
0 - 6 Reddish fine texture silty clayey top soil.
6 - 10 Reddish medium grained size sand.
10 - 16 As above bur texture much coarser with highly siliceous fragments and predominantly of red clay boundary/interface between the upper layers of clay and lower layer of sand
16 - 24 Reddish coarse sand with small gravel reworked rock fragment as quartzite and gneisses.
24 - 32 Red grey coarse gravelly conglomerate (alluvial gravels) originating from basement with sand alluvial.
32 - 37 Black coarse gravel – basalt sample fragments mixed with fragments of sands and small gravel medium texture red color.
37 - 42 As above but sand cleaner ( highly siliceous ) and material texture is relatively coarser.
42 - 56 Black/dark gravel coarse textured formation consisting of gravel and pebbles of highly weathered Precambrian basement rock with small sand grain size reduces.
56- 67 Black coarse gravel – basalt sample fragment with reddish relatively coarse sand (
First Significant Aquifer)
67- 70 Reddish/ochre red coarse sand with gravel from quartzite
70- 73 Black medium gravel – basalt sample fragment with red sand material less than above layer
Discharge test
The discharge test gave a fairly steady yield with an average discharge of 8.03 m³/hr and an average specific capacity 1.23 m³/hr/m. Recovery rate was very fast, with 92.4% of the total drawdown obtained within the first 35 minutes.
Water quality analyses
Water quality monitored during drilling and testing of production boreholes were not different. ECmeasurements obtained during drilling was 1 210 uS/cm – 1 360 uS/cm, average TDS was 788.6. The water
temperature ranged between 320- 350C.