W-09 - potential of rainwater harvesting in somalia

Technical report
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SWALIM reference library
Somalia covers an area of 637,657 km2 with the population in 2003 estimated at 7.5 million inhabitants. Somalia economy is predominantly agricultural (crops and livestock, the latter being a major mainstay). The economy depends highly on water availability, which in turn is reliant on rainfall. Rainfall in Somalia is not only low, below 100 mm per year in some areas, but has a high temporal and spatial variability (annexes 1 to 5). The annual average rainfall ranges from 215 mm in the North-eastern regions to approximate 550 mm in the South-Central regions (SWALIM, 2007). The water balance for the country depicts potential evapotranspiration greater than rainfall in the entire country. In addition, other hydro-physical conditions that negatively impact on the availability of freshwater include land degradation and siltation of water bodies. The situation has been compounded by 16 years of civil strife, especially in the southern regions. A number of local and international organizations have initiated civil reconstruction, environmental conservation and livelihood-support programmes. Experts estimate that Somalia is among the 13 African countries that will face water scarcity by 2025. A country is said to be water scarce when its annual per capita water availability falls below 1000 m3. Already, Somalia has less than 500 m3/per capita/year (UNECA, 2000). This is attributed to erratic spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall with average annual amounts falling between 100 and 800 mm, high evaporation, and human activities that exacerbate land degradation.
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Date of publication: 
October, 2007
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21 fig.,14 plate,31 annex,8 tab.