By Goth Mohamed Goth

The Hargeisa city council and the UN habitat have jointly has unveiled a detailed map showing all buildings and other features such as main roads, rivers, airport, etc. during an event held at Hotel Mansoor.

The Mayor of Hargeisa Mr. Abdurrahman Mahmoud Aideed (Solteco) speaking during the unveiling of the new map said, “The chosen variables for the property database describe in the map includes the physical characteristics of the property (dimensions, use, building materials, access to infrastructure) occupier (could be different from owner) number of residents living in the building

UN-Habitat Emrah Andenis representative said, “The mapping project of Hargeisa city began in mid-2004. The plan was to create a database of all the properties in the city, and a methodology for classifying them and developing tax bills.

The database is hyper-linked to a digital ground photograph of each property. This photo helps local council staff to verify the database and later facilitates communication with the owners and occupants of the properties.

With the goal of using property taxation to generate municipal revenue for public works, UN-HABITAT and the municipality decided to implement a property survey

After careful consideration, it was decided to develop a database with a limited number of variables for each property, essential for determining property tax. A satellite image was used to create a base map identifying all the buildings in Hargeisa, and through rapid fi eld surveys

UN-HABITAT approach to property registration the characteristics of the structures were collected. All data were stored in a Geographical Information System (GIS) for quick retrieval and mapping. This approach has proven to be fast and relatively cheap. At a later stage the database could be expanded into a full cadastral system. The project has illustrated how a GIS property survey to facilitate property taxation can be done rapidly and cost effectively, allowing local governments to raise revenue that can be invested in urgently needed public works and services.

The UN-Habitat Somaliland/ Somalia Programme has being implementing projects in Somaliland for more than 25 years and is active in the areas of Local Governance, Land Management, Security of Tenure and GIS, Participatory Urban Planning and Management, Environmentally Sound Urban Infrastructure and Basic Service Delivery, Local Government Finance, Shelter Construction, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction.


  1. Step in the right direction but this should've been done long time ago. Hargeisa followed by Borame and then Berbera must now start naming streets and numbering properties to create an internal postal service. It costs next to nothing. It needs a bit of vision and leadership. Tarsan of Mogadhsu did all that in months.