Somalia Geography and Population

By | January 8, 2023

Somalia (Geography)

Somalia (Geography), Equator goes through the southern part of the country and all of Somalia has a dry and hot tropical climate. There are two rainy seasons and two dry seasons, and it is of great importance to the conditions of life when the rainy seasons set in; one of them may be completely absent (see intertropical convergence zone). Most rivers are only periodically aquatic, wadier; Along with the two largest, Jubba and Shabeelle, there are stretches of continuous forest belts. NE Somalia is very dry with desert and bush steppes, but on the high plains and over the mountains towards NV there is more rain and there is also forest. In southern Somalia, there is also a limited amount of rainfall, and scattered acacia forest is widespread.


Somalis are a Hamitic people, totaling 6-7 million people, of which approximately 4 million lives in Somalia and 2 million. in Ogaden on the other side of the border with Ethiopia. In addition, hundreds of thousands in Djibouti and northern Kenya, in addition to refugees in other neighboring countries and in the West. Almost the entire population of Somalia is Sunni Muslims and follows the Shafi’ite law school.

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The Somalis are divided into six clans, which are again divided into sub-clans, genealogies, diya groups and families. According to the traditions, the clan families of Hawiye, Dir, Ishaaq and Darod have the same mythical ancestor; they are predominantly nomadic, live in the northern part of the country and constitute approximately 85% of the population, Ishaaq and Darod together only half. Hawiye lives in central Somalia north of Shabeelle and on the coast around the cities of Baraawe and Marka, where the dir group is also located. The southern clans, Digil and Rahanweyn, lives especially between Jubba and Shabeelle and also has common mythical ancestor. These clans generally have a somewhat weaker social position. They feed on a mixture of farming and crafts (blacksmiths, shoemakers, hairdressers) as well as any trade and nomadic animal husbandry. For culture and traditions of Somalia, please check allunitconverters.

Thus, there is a certain division of labor between the clans, and owning camels and being a nomad is associated with the highest prestige. There is also a distinct division of labor between the sexes, where the men primarily take care of the camels and cattle of the genus. Polygamy is widespread, and a man who can afford it can have two, three or four wives. It is the women who take care of the family’s tent or hut, and they have the daily responsibilities of the children, the smaller domestic animals (sheep and goats) and the family’s food supply; moreover, they are responsible for the sale of camel milk on the market. Traditionally, the oldest men have taken care of the entire family, and marriage is an important part of the social and economic system as an alliance between two people and two families.

Ca. 80% of the population lives in rural areas, and although extensive population shifts have occurred in the 1990’s as a result of the civil war and new developments in the business structure, genus and nomadic life remain central to a large majority of Somalis. Even children who grow up in the city will often spend some time in the countryside with the genus and its animals.


Livestock breeding is the dominant profession, and nomadism is the dominant way of life. Live animals are one of the most important export goods. The Italians built banana plantations along the rivers in the southern part of the country, and for some years bananas were another important export commodity. Especially in ancient times, the resin collected from the acacia trees was also important.

The nomads’ in-depth knowledge of nature and its possibilities is a prerequisite for the functioning of the self-sufficiency community. The seasonal migrations depend on the animals included in the flocks and they are arranged according to the grazing conditions and the access to the irrigation of the animals (ie rainfall conditions and wells). For the survival of the nomads in the arid and harsh climate, the camels are essential. The camels can wander through the desert for 20 days without water, and since camel milk is often the only nutrition of the nomads during the long hikes, they are a crucial protection against hunger and thirst.

Not all families have camels, and many combine animal husbandry with the cultivation of selected crops in addition to trading. Actual peasantry is only widespread in the most humid river valleys and wadis and moreover spread between Jubba and Shabeelle. In total, less than 2% of the land is cultivated; the main crops are hardy millet varieties, corn and beans.


Traditionally, nomadic migration patterns, along with port cities such as Mogadishu, Kismayu, Baraawe, Marka, Berbera and Boosaaso, have been the central parts of the infrastructure. The country has no railways and all heavy transport takes place by trucks on very bad roads; lack of maintenance and the 1990’s wars have worsened transport conditions. Air transport is therefore of great importance and there are many smaller airports.

Somalia Geography