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Somalia: Maqhabul people’s youth activists call on environmental protection amid recurrent droughts

Sana’a, Yemen—A senior Maqhabul people’s activist in Uganda said Wednesday that the recurrent droughts of the Somali region of Ethiopia and Southern region of Somalia would be prevented if the degrading or destroying forests had been stopped.

Abdirashid Abdullahi, head of the Moghabul Youth Communication Council, said that even though the authorities in Jubaland and Somali region of Ethiopia banned coal industry, cutting trees did not stop there on an economic basis.
He said the presence of foreign oil companies in Shilabo and Doollo province have a substantial impact on the deforestation campaign and urged the Ethiopian authorities to learn from the 2016-2017 drought, which resulted in the death of dozens of Maqhabul civilians in  Qorille and Yu’ub, including women and children as well as elderly men.
A Chinese owned firm is drilling oil and gas in the Calub area, South-eastern Ogaden, where a large number of trees completely destroyed or cleared from the face of the earth amid security measures in the area.
“Although the construction of oil facilities might take 10-15 years to complete, the Calub project threatened the trees and very small or very rare plants that the tribe nation’s very existence depends on,” he added.
The Maqhabul youth’s Deputy Director of Cultural Affairs Asma Abdulrahman Ismail in Kismayo warned that if the coal industry in the Shabaab- controlled southern Somalia town of Badade, near the Kenya-Somalia border, continues many undiscovered species and the entire forests will disappear 10-20 years from now.
Badade is an important town in southern Somalia’s Lower Juba region and became Somalia’s Mosul, as AMISOM and Authorities in Kismayo attempted to wrest control of the town from Al-Shabaab.
“Maqhabul people’s nomadic life is in danger of ceasing its existence as the survival of the plants and ours depend on each other and we need international support from the environmentalists,” she said.
“When clearance occurs in our part of the world both animals and humans die.”
Maqhabul subclan of Ogaden clan of the Somali nation lives in Qubi, Doh and Doollo in the southern regions of Ethiopia’s Ogaden, South Wajir of the North Eastern Kenya and Southern extremities of Somalia’s Jubaland state, including Kismayo, Badade, Kulbiyow, Waraq, Bilis Qoqani and Ras-Kamboni, et cetera. They inhabit the richest areas of the Horn of Africa.
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