Bosaso Greening its Way Out of Environmental Degradation

Published February 2, 2016 by Muna Ali .M

pikJama Ali and two of his friends preparing the seed for transplanting

“Two decades of conflict, political instability and recurring droughts have worn out the land and the people. Over time, the land has become drier and the rainfall scarce. For a country whose population largely depends on livestock, this is devastating,” explains 16 year old Jama Ali.

Back in March 2015, Jama and 81 other people participated in a tree planting campaign that aimed at tackling Puntland’s environmental problems. Dubbed ‘Greening Puntland,’ the campaign kicked off in Bosaso, a city in the North Eastern Bari province of Somalia. 
300 drought and salt tolerant trees, suited for the coastal conditions, were planted along the Bosaso Airport Road by youth from the most vulnerable households in the city and IDP camps, who were paid for their time. So in addition to greening the city and improving their environment, these youth were able to earn a small income.  
The importance of environmental protection and the impact of tree planting on mitigating climatic problems is new to many people in the area. 
“The idea behind the campaign was to raise awareness around the benefits of trees and inculcate a culture of tree planting among the local communities,” explained Mohamoud Ismail, Adeso project officer in the Bari region of Somalia. “We want the idea of greening our cities to sit well with the community of Bosaso, we hope that as we demonstrate tree planting as a worthy investment, the idea will stick. We are targeting pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities, city dwellers, community organizations and schools,” he continued. 
“Some people can’t fathom the difference tree planting can make, and many times they are daunted by the prospect of the financial burden of watering and sustaining trees,” says Nasra Bashir, a mother of five whose house is on the airport road, where the trees were planted. “I was really happy when Adeso started planting the trees. I had some space in front of my house and I always wanted to plant something there, but I didn’t have enough resources for the initial investment and the sustaining cost.” 
These activities were implemented as part of Adeso’s Natural Management Project (NRM), whose motto is “Your Environment is Your Life.” The four year project is funded by the European Union (EU) Millennium Development Goals  (MDG) Initiative for Somalia and implemented by Adeso and CARE in collaboration with Puntland’s Ministry of Environment Wild Life and Tourism (MoEWT). The project seeks to reduce hunger and food insecurity by improving rangeland conditions in the Puntland State of Somalia.