Water and Energy Sector

Water and Energy are the key sources of economic growth and social well-being of Somalia and could play crucial rule for employment opportunities, social and environmental benefits. Sustainable water  and energy security are vital to country’s production and industrial system as Somalia is emerging from emergence and difficult eras to development. 

Somalia is a water scarce country and there is variation in water sources. For example, much of the north and northeast depend on groundwater ,in aquifers of various depth  and while in the south water is accessed through rivers and shallow wells.

Somalia can be divided into the following major river basins: 1. Gulf of Aden basin,  2. Daroor basin , 3. Tug Der/ Nugal basin , 4. Central basin,  5. Shabelle basin,  6. Juba basin , 7. Lag Dera basin 8. Lag Badana basin and 9. Indian Ocean basin.

Juba and Shabelle Basin

Juba and Shabelle basins are transboundary Rivers shared by Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya and they are the only perennial rivers in Somalia with the main bread baskets of the country and important resource bases known as the rice bowl of the country. The traditional socio-economic activities in Southern Somalia have strongly based on the availability of water in the Juba and Shabelle Rivers.

Groundwater resources
Groundwater is the main source of water for the majority of the people in Somalia. Except for the population residing along the Juba and Shabelle rivers, which also use surface water to meet their water needs, groundwater from dug wells, bore holes and springs are the primary sources of water for the population in the most of the country. Groundwater is harnessed by the rural and urban population to meet domestic and livestock water needs as well as for small scale irrigation.

Generally, there are about ten aquifers in Somalia, which influence groundwater site selection. Major sources of water in the South-Central region are boreholes and shallow wells. Most of the boreholes are deep and saline while the shallow wells are susceptible to contamination since they are not well protected.  The two main rivers Shabelle and Juba flow through the region are main source of water for public use and irrigation. Groundwater forms an essential source of water in most parts of Somalia and is accessed through boreholes, shallow wells and temporary springs. The aquifer is of high productivity, medium to high infiltration capacity.  Test yields of the production boreholes ranged from 12 to 20 l/s, with drawdown of   less than 20m. 

In 2011, UNDP Somalia Report was mentioned that Somalia’s annual renewable freshwater fell from 2,500m3 per capita per annum in 1950, to 980m3 in 1990, with a prediction of 363m3 by 2025.