Kismanyo, a small city with a very small population strategically rests on the peninsula of the Indian Ocean coast in the lower juba state in Southern Somalia. Kismanyo corridor, which was built in the early 1960s for Somali-navies, today acts as a key business causeway between Somalia, the gulf and the east African countries.  After the collapse of the central government of Somalia, this resourceful town had unfortunately fallen into the hands of various malicious headed by some of the most notorious warlords before the up to date Kenyan backed forces who took the control from Islamist sect “Alshabab”.  This town had since became one of the worst gateways for Somali natural resources outflow, where much of the intangible wealth had been shipped away, like mammalian-livestock and the living trees.

The climate deteriorations have touched the world at large, but the western countries in particular. Kyoto Protocol was therefore held in Japan on 11 December 1997 and came into force on February 2005, where several unanimously agreed pre-emptive measures were made. Many prominent countries worldwide were the official signatories of this environmental pact, as it has invited a contentious ecological, economic and political argument among the world’s industrialized countries whose major concern was seeking a mutual policy on cutting the green-house-emissions in an attempt to promote a healthy green environment for better living conditions.

According to the National geography forests only cover 30 percent of the world’s land area, but widths of the swath in miles are lost in every single day by the hands of modern sinister business mongers. The world’s rain forests could completely vanish during this century at the current rate of deforestation proportionately.

 Prior to the colonial land border demarcations, Somali people who are one of the largest ethnic societies that occupies much of the lands in the eastern part of the African continent were livestock herders, artisans and agro-pastoral societies as well. Even more than half of the current Somali population in today’s contemporary world belongs to the same conventional life-style, enjoying with the nature in their terrestrial strata. Remember, the recent famine in some parts of the south-Somalia that terribly invited international media attentions was due to the pro-longed draughts, the underlying cause of which was attributed to the meager rainfalls and loss of the rainy forests by the hands of the mindless loggers. The said draughts have also driven many people from their territorial lands to a shanty refugee camps temporarily built in Mogadishu suburbs, still severing and exposed to an endless abuses.

USA on Somali charcoal imports:

A UN resolution on the ban of commercializing the territorial animals and trees was adopted in the year 1975 by its members__ provided there should be a legal license formally issued by a legitimate government.  Furthermore, two decrees numbered 20 and 27 issued by the last government of Somalia in the years 1967 and 1969 respectively__ were due to nix all exportations of mammalian animals and the charcoal. As there was no a functioning Somali central government for the past two decades the above said pact and decrees had dramatically disappeared, lawlessness and chaos taken the lead.  Today’s international outcry on Somali charcoal exports was prompted not by global concerns over the environmental abuses but apprehensions on Al-shabab’s financial sources.

 President Obama of the US has ordered the abrogation of the US imports of the Somali charcoal during his first tuner, not because of the appalling ecological situations there in Somalia but, his concerns over the Al-shabab’s significant revenues generated from this illegal source. It’s really disappointing that Obama only reiterated on the financial gains for Al-shabab but not on the environmental abuses caused by this cynical type of business.

 According to the UN report on July 2011__ the tax revenue that al shabaab used to levy on charcoal exportations was about 15 million US dollars a year. This is why Al-shabab’s presence in many parts of southern Somalia was in existence, yet gained firm grounds for exercising their power.  Thought Al-shabaab seems to be losing their last standing leg today, yet this type of business remains unchanged.


Where charcoal exports end up:

The relentless demand from the world in general and that of the Arabian countries in particular is what keeps this product’s market bullish. This lucrative business was said to had been involved in hundreds of thousands metric tons of charcoal exports per year, the revenues of which is narrowed into the best interest of small groups of business predatory.  In the gulf, the charcoal consumption for households cooking is relatively less than that for shisha/hookah smoking.  The number of Shisha outlets mushrooming in the Arabian Peninsula is well reflecting on the growth rate of the charcoal demand levels on daily basis. This smoking habit was originally generated from Egypt but later on exported to the Middle East and many other countries across the globe. The global fight against tobacco is less effective due to the fact that it’s facing a fierce resistance from such addictions.

Somali charcoal exports lifecycle:


As we are in bound with the time, as we are unsure about what tomorrow holds for the entire nation, if the current rate of deforestation keeps unchanged in Somalia, for how long it could take Somali forests to completely vanish?

By: Khadar Hanan


Doha, Qatar.



  1. Stripping an already arid country of the few trees it has and by its own people is sad. Those Somali merchants have a lot to answer for.

    After all do we really need to speed up the desertification of our lands? Do we really want to live in anything that looks like the gulf states? I certainly dont want to come home to that nonsense. or Jahanam

  2. The GOOD news is after (JAF) Jubbaland arm forces bush out Al-shabab and Moryaan together from Kismaayo no more cutting Jubbaland forest. all charcoal export stop.

  3. Some of parts of Somalia , there are individuals who do not value human life, are we expecting them to value land and its natural resources? Hope people after al-shabaab got the message that if you neglect your land and nature, you will not get it back, so you better look after it now.

  4. Khadar,
    Shisha is orriginally a turkish thing, but they brought it to egypt in about 1850 when egypt was under the uthmanians empire

    • Dear Mr. Ilyas,

      Thanks for your comment on my article. The origins of shisha are very much disputed, with several countries including Turkey, Iran, Egypt (and even the USA) claiming to have started this smoking method. However, the general consensus is that it originated in the North Western regions of India around 600 years ago. But Egypt is attributed to have been the major country that exported this habit to the Arab world and remember today it’s the world’s highest shisha tobacco exporter. This is why many historians believe Egypt was the originator of this smocking habit. Any why, mission of mine was telling about its negative effect on our environment rather than telling about its history.

  5. To all addicted shiisha folks no more charcoal from Jubbaland. thanks to IC and Jubbaland arm forces chasing out Al-shabab Moryaan element from kismayu port.

  6. I would like to ask the people of Jubaland how you gonna liberate middle Jubba? Gedo is free, Lower Jubba is free but Middle Jubba how? its look like the Hawiya morons from Mogadishu will rather work with Al shabaab then Jubaland state and the Kenya forces will not go deep into Somalia and the Jubaland for are it's early stage and don't think they have the capacity to carry out any operations against Al shabaab in Middle Jubaland.

    So i'm thinking maybe Puntland forces should be deployed in kismaayo so they can train the jubaland forces and remove shabaab from Middle Jubaland.

    • To answer your little QUESTION, how Jubbaland State will be liberate Middle Jubba??? first, Middle jubba not hard to liberate. secondly, as we speak (JAF) Jubbaland Arm Force Combine with AMISOM+ Ethiopian arm forces located Bay and Bakool will MOVE in soon Middle Jubba To liberate. ( you got it ).

      • amisom uganda/burundi they wouldn't lift a finger sine they take orders from Mogadishu and Ethiopians are withdrawing from Somalia altogether they even handed Xudur to Al shabaab.

        And Kenya will not go deep, so whats left? Puntland, its time for Puntland re enter the scene like 2006 and 2010 Puntland should occupy kismaaya and Jubaland forces should engage with al shabaab.

        • Your not reading the papers lately cause your busy talking about your FAKE wife. YOU must be desperate person Live in London.

          Ethiopian Army with the Jubbaland Arm forces are moving in soon Middle Jubba to liberate, once they flash out Al-shabab including Moryaan then Ethiopian will leave.

          There is no need Puntland Arm Forces enough Military personal station in kismaayo and Jubbaland.

  7. I don't know what makes you think that if Al-shabab are kicked out that charcoal exportation will stop. Charcoal exportation will not stop in somalia until the lodgers and merchants of this trade find an alternative means of income. These Somali people know how much damage this trade is causing to the Somali environment, but they have no other alternative. Either they do this to make money or they will not have any money to bring food on their table.