Mogadishu deludes and stuns the world!: Business is booming and people are suffering!!!

The recent article at the Guardian ranked Mogadishu is the world’s second fastest growing city in 2015, with population of 2.1 million growing at 6.9%  according to a US consulting firms Demographia , this may have surprised many!. Especially when it beats Xiamen in China.

New business centers, buildings are pervading and overarching the city dramatically!

What is driving this incredible economic growth at the Somali capital? , there are so many factors enabled to these amazing and dynamic changes in the capital including Security improvement, return of incredibly wealthy and experienced Diaspora, local universities grandaunts, real estate and infrastructure building.

Widespread Unemployment across the country!

If you observe the unemployment rate across the country, you can’t envisage and believe it. And this drastic unemployment propels lack of sufficient and decent job opportunities. Additionally, there are also ample and blatant corruption and injustice which rife the institutions and companies which seeks employees both public and private. Moreover, when these organizations are making recruitment, they don’t recruit with merit based, but they recruit with nepotism and political patronage. So, these intrusive actions became inevitable and an intractable, and at the same time demoralizes and freaks out the educated people.

Permanent roadblocks becomes inherently among the citizens!!!

Roadblocks become part of government’s business. When you are heading to your destination whether its education centers or business areas, you have to anticipate the potential roadblocks. So, you can at least depart from your house at early, otherwise you will meet with delays. Apart from that, there is also another challenge which is, if you are working with the government institutions you must near around Maka-Almukarama Street so you can at least reach out your office on time.

Trucks carrying with containers are restricting the movement!

Glaringly, Lorries are allocated and permitted to work in night shift, while luxury and transportations are allowed to work in the morning shift, in order to avoid traffic jam. Regrettably, in our situation, the trucks are moving in the morning which causes daily jam and traffic crash. For instance, if you look in how its traffic jams CEELGAAB junction and the bridge one and two in Waberi district, you hate and demoralize the city. Because, it postpones reaching your destination and sometimes you prefer to move on foot. Nevertheless, the traffic police and municipality are reluctant to tackle and handle these peculiar things.

Mogadishu emboldens urbanization and deters ruralization!

If you read the Somalia National Development Plan (NDP) 2017-19 which is currently depleting without fulfilling too much, encourages and overstates the urban resilience programs. And this intrusive action leads and propels a much influx from the rural areas. Moreover, especially the capital city of Mogadishu becomes overpopulated. So, the question is, can Mogadishu lonely covers the all needs of the Somali people? Plainly not at all. In this regard, we need to shore up the rural resilience programs so as to mop up and exonerate the capital city of Mogadishu

There are enormous things which are wish-washing the beauty of the capital city (Mogadishu) including:-

  • IDPs: there are a number of IDPs which weakens the beauty of the city including Badbaado,Rajo, Weydaw and several others. These IDPs are diluting and diminishing the good sight of the capital
  • Slums: are considered as illegally occupied houses and creating a nuisance of environmental pollution and degradation of urban living conditions such as some parts of (HAMAR JAJAB DISTRICT) and some other places. The presence of slum as a part of urban habitat refers to a condition of defective physical, social and economic environment. During last two decades; migration from villages and small towns to metropolitan areas has increased. This leads to the degradation of urban environmental quality and sustainable development especially in the metropolitan cities. The problems faced by the people living in the urban areas have become major concerns for the government. Slums are considered to be the major issue within many urban areas; Mogadishu Master Plan will be a comprehensive long-term plan that any city in the world, would love to have. It details well the process to be followed, then gives challenges and the way forward.
  • Sewage (or domestic wastewater or municipal wastewater) is a type of wastewater that is produced by a community of people. It is characterized by volume or rate of flow, physical condition, chemical and toxic constituents, and its bacteriologic status (which organisms it contains and in what quantities). It consists mostly of greywater (from sinks, tubs, showers, dishwashers, and clothes washers), black water (the water used to flush toilets, combined with the human waste that it flushes away); soaps and detergents; and toilet paper (less so in regions where bidets are widely used instead of paper).

So, if you observe in Mogadishu, the Turkish government embarked to rebuild and repair the Mogadishu roads since 2011, unfortunately, they abnegated the sewages. Nevertheless, the only sewages that we have up to know are, those existed before the civil war in 1991.

  • Squatters: when the civil strife erupted and the law was faded away in 1991, many public domains were took illicitly, especially the lands. And this intrusive action leads and propels an open-ended land disputes among the community. So, when it comes to master planning in Mogadishu, it will cause a challenge.
  • Motors installed among the residents: if you observe how some business men are exploiting the country, you stun and astonish! They establish and bring a heavy motors inside the residents recklessly, and they don’t respect the local people, regardless if they are against this business which harms the people and creates a heavy noisy. Irrespective, if the rules of the country are prohibiting such business. Because, they have a full confident that, if the government meddles their business, they instantly and automatically use a money for corruption purpose. And this intrusive actions diluted and undermined keeping the national interest
  • Narrow passing streets: this is also an outstanding challenge to the master plan. Because, if you look in our streets, two cars in one way (GO) and two cars in the other way (BACK) can’t properly move and overtake simultaneously and collaterally for sack of the narrow passing streets. While, if we compare the other countries, notably Addis-Ababa-Ethiopia, there are sufficient and sophisticated streets which are meeting the standard of the capital cities across the world.  

The Districts, which are most affected ones in terms poor master planning

Although, most of the districts are old fashion, approximately 70’s and 80’s, but there are particular ones including:-

  • Waberi : this district is over populated and it doesn’t have decent streets and most of its buildings are too old. Additionally, the scale of the houses in the district is 13/20, which is squeeze comparing to the Hodan, Dharkenley and some other districts. Regarding to this issue, many organized crimes and killings happens the districts.  
  • Bondhere: this district is 12/20 its scale, even smaller than Waberi. Furthermore, there is another outstanding problem which is, when it is the rainy days, some parts of the district meets a water from other districts, and becomes water stagnant which causes diseases outbreak such diarrhea, malaria and other. There are also other districts which have the same problem including Shangani and others.

Master Planning in Mogadishu reparates its beauty instantly!

In order to accelerate and develop the master planning process, there are paramount stakeholders to be involved this landmark and moral obligation duty, including:-

  • The government: the biggest and most important stakeholder is the government and its respective institutions. Moreover, the government has to take the lead and steer up the other stakeholders as longest it has the legitimate authority of the country’s future and interest. So, they have to have the final say
  • International/Local experts: there is an immense need for experts, both international and local ones. Because, this landmark action is entails experts and professionals, especially engineers, who have the knowledge related this issue in order to prevent mismanagement and delusion about the master planning process of the capital city of Mogadishu.   
  • Community Service Organizations (CSOs): Civil society groups have a paramount role, which is, to support and contribute the process of the master planning both financially and morally as well.
  • The media stations: their role is to broadcast and exaggerate the master planning process , and also to deliver and convey the message to the citizens and update them how things are going and evolving
  • The public in general: the role of the public are , to keep and maintain the public infrastructure and to participate the initial process of the master planning both financially and morally in order to create sense of patriotism among the society.

Recommendations and way forward

  • Diminishing the slums in order to improve the beauty and the master planning of Mogadishu
  • Keeping and maintaining the previous existed streets for the time being and adding new ones which are fit and compatible to the international capital cities benchmark
  • Relocating the motors which are installed inside the residents and dwellers which can cause a harm and air pollution
  • Opening the roads which are blocked in order to exonerate the functioning roads and accelerate the movement

Anwar Abdifatah Bashir
Freelance Journalist and Independent Researcher