Assessment of the Impacts of Chemical
Wastes on Environment in Somaliland
Rapid urbanization and industrialization in Somaliland has resulted in increased environmental
pollution. This study sought to identify all forms of pollution and their sources in Hargeisa and
Berbera cities, as well as challenges posted with regard environmental and public health and
safety. In Somaliland, the main sources of solid wastes in urban areas originate particularly
targeted areas which includes households, commercial centers, communal markets, industries
and wastes chemicals resulting from demolition and construction work. Furthermore, the
wastes from residential and commercial contributes significantly to the generation of both solid
and liquid wastes. Wastes when poorly managed they pose an environmental and health
The management, the collection, storage, transport and disposal of solid wastes is not done in a
regularized manner due to array of factors, including the absence of qualified personnel to
implement wastes disposal and sanitation procedures, lack of sufficient wastes transport, lack
of proper dumpsites, the widespread practice of open, unregulated or illegal waste dumping.
Golis organization for Saving the Environment commissioned a study on the impact of chemical
wastes on environment in Hargeisa and Berbera. The scope of this work was to undertake a
situational analysis for environmental impact of solid and chemicals wastes in the environment.
The focus of the assessment is to document the current environmental situation in the area of
waste management. Methodologically, the assessment reviewed previous document and,
surveyed and observed the current situation in order to better address the environmental
problems associated with chemical hazards.
The methodology used for this assessment included a review of literature for waste
management procedures in both cities. Rapid survey questionnaire interviewing conveniently
100 households, visited 10 hospitals, 10 garages and making use of 10 informants. Also onsite
observation in landfill sites, garages, hospitals, slaughter houses, car washes, agricultural and
animal pesticides shops, and other public sources of chemical and solid wastes.
The assessment identified the prevalent of chemical and solid wastes, potential sources in
Hargeisa and Berbera, as well as challenges posted with regard environmental and public health
and safety. It was noted major pollution was attributed to solid and liquid wastes serious in
both Hargeisa and Berbera cities. The associated environmental impacts that need to be further
technically and systematically investigated and documented to determine underlying pollution
caused by biological, chemical and other associated pollutant.
Solid and liquid wastes management and control in both areas largely remain at a very
rudimentary level. Unacceptable practices in accumulation of wastes, open dumping of liquid
and solid wastes in and around places of human settlements, work areas and environment in
general are very widespread, which owing to technical, economic, social and legal enforcement
The chemical identification, exposure mitigation, public education and awareness, and impact
response strategies about the risks and adverse effects of chemicals to protect the
environmental and human health safety remain neglected.
The research recommended government institutions particularly local governments; private
sector and community put into consideration on raising awareness on sources and impact
chemical wastes the environment and to initiate mitigation measures in order to improve
aesthetic value of the environment and to safeguard public health and safety. Similarly, there is
a need to establish regulatory framework and law enforcement measures for both cities.
The Ministry of Environment and Rural Development, and Environmental enforcement agencies
require to set up environmental inspector’s team with clear terms of reference with financially
support by the government and other relevant non-governmental agencies such as Somaliland
Chemical Society, Golis for Saving Environment etc. for coordination and development of a
guidelines and adherence to international standards where applicable and possible.
There is need on capacity building and training on hazardous waste management especially
chemical and biomedical wastes. Local universities and institutions should develop curriculum
on analytical or environmental chemistry that focus on environmental performance monitoring
and evaluation. Similarly, the is need for environmental enforcement agencies as well as public
health and sanitation officers to appoint officers tasked with monitoring and evaluation of
waste management practices for sustainable development. There is a need to establish
Somaliland Chemical Society to spearhead and champion for environmental protection from
the effects hazardous chemicals released into the environment.