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Location Somalia, Africa

Somalia is in the mist of many problems. Pirates, a never ending civil war and not having a government,[1] plus being essentially a dump for the industrialized world  but there is one giant problem on the horizon for the People of Somalia.     

Deforestation is a problem everywhere, but within a country that is suffering as much as Somalia, there is no greater need for an economically viable option. Cutting down nearly 2.5 million trees each year[2] is just making the country even worse for ware then it was before. Somalia is still a very young country; it only gained its independence 50 years ago.

Somalia is right between Africa and the Middle, so it is in a very good position for trade and has been for thousands of years.[3] Unfortunately a good portion of the country is completely unusable, and at the rate of deforestation that is happening every year in Somalia, the rest of the usable attributes of the country will soon be gone as well.          

The reason for the rapid deforestation in Somalia is simply not just black and white. There are many different reasons that drive the rapid deforestation including the fact that charcoal is essentially the only affordable form of energy for the majority of the population of Somalia; it is also a very bankable business for the country[4],also because of the fighting in recent years in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu there has been countless numbers of innocent people escaping into the forest to get away from the fighting. The fleeing people who need places to live will cut down trees and use them as make shift housing.[5]

Although all those are reasons, the main reason that deforestation is occurring at such an alarming rate is because the use of the charcoal you can get from the cut down trees is a very good business for the few Somali businesses that have access to the trees. In 2007 it was said that each shipment of trees to the Middle East can earn roughly one million dollars[6]  That money is only going to a few people and not to the people who really need it, the cost of charcoal went from roughly 76 U.S. cents ten years ago to around five dollars now.[7] That is far too expensive for people in one of the poorest countries in the world to pay for something they need on a daily basis. All of these reasons are just part of the bigger problem, which is that Somalia needs to find a better way to produce energy for all of the people or else the country will continue to suffer. The lack of trees and usable soil will eventually turn the country into a virtual wasteland and the people of Somalia will become more and more desperate for something most of the world takes for granted.

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Page data
Part of JMC330 International Mass Communication
Type Location
Keywords deforestation
Published 2010
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
Affiliations Cal Poly Humboldt
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