WoqooyI Galbeed – Situation Analysis, October 2012
Woqooyi Galbeed1 is located between Awdal region to the west, and Togdheer region to the east. It also borders Ethiopia to the south and the Gulf of Aden to the north. The region has an estimated population of 700,345 with a 70/30 urban/rural ratio (UNDP 2005). Somaliland’s capital city Hargeisa and the northern port town of Berbera are found in the region. The region consists of three districts: Berbera, Hargeisa, and Gabiley. There are four livelihoods zones in the region, namely: Guban pastoral zone (tending sheep, goats, camels) which runs along the northern coast; the west Golis pastoral zone (rearing sheep, goats, camels) running from east to west below Guban, the largest zone in the region; north-west agro-pastoral zone (cultivating sorghum, raising cattle) extending from east to west below west Golis; and Hawd pastoral zone (tending sheep, goats, camels) along the southern border with Ethiopia.
Most parts of the region received near normal to normal Gu rains that replenished water levels and regenerated pastures. The region was not affected by the drought that hit the Golis/Guban coastal areas inJune-August 2012.
Hargeisa, which is the main city in Woqooyi Galbeed, is home to the highest concentration of IDPs in Somaliland, which according to UNHCR estimates, numbers at 45,000 people. There are a number of IDP settlements in Hargeisa, including in the city centre, such as State House, Stadium, Daami, Ayaha, and Mohamed Mooge. The majority of the IDPs in the region have resided in settlements for years. Many fled the early 1990’s civil war in Somalia and returned to Somaliland from Ethiopia. There are more arrivals in recent years due to drought. This includes the 2011 drought that resulted in an increase in the number of IDPs in Mohamed Mooge camp by over 2,000 households.
In 2012, the Somaliland Government authorities recently began relocating IDPs from some urban settlements to outlying newly-established settlements. Over 500 IDPs were already relocated to Ayaha III settlement, and the Government is planning to relocate 2,700 households from Mohamed Mooge settlement to a new unspecified area. The IDPs were given small parcels of land for permanent settlement as the government disputes their right to settle in their current locations.
Hargeisa also hosts tens of thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from Ethiopia. At the start of 2012, the Somaliland government announced that it will deport all unregistered refugees and asylumseekers.
The government’s move was denounced by Amnesty International. The UN has also voiced its concerns. In August 2012, the authorities forcibly deported about 100 Ethiopian asylum-seekers, following violent confrontations with Somaliland Police. The confrontation reportedly started after the asylumseekers refused to vacate a plot of privately-owned land. There were no more deportations after this incident.