Berbera, Somaliland, 17 May 2021- UN-Habitat held a ground-breaking ceremony to launch the Berbera Beach Development which will provide recreational facilities for all and boost the local economy.

The move is part of the EU-funded urban development project which is being implemented by the Berbera Municipality and UN-Habitat.

The Berbera Beach project will result in a family area, a female-only area where girls and women can enjoy the beach and the sea freely, sports and youth facilities for girls and boys, a market area, a recycling facility and reserved public areas for rest, play, street vendors or cultural activities.

“The new Berbera beach project will not only be an attractive recreation opportunity for the people of Berbera, but also a unique economic opportunity. It will attract a large number of visitors and create revenue for the region, business opportunities for the private sector, and direct and indirect employment for residents,” said the EU Ambassador to Somalia, Nicolas Berlanga Martinez.

The municipality identified the beachfront as a priority area for the urban regeneration of Berbera following the current trends of the city growth and the recommendations from the review of the 2017 Strategic Development Plan.

Somaliland Berbera beachfront aerial view May 2021
An aerial view of the Berbera beach Somaliland which is being developed as a recreation area for everyone by UN-Habitat and Berbera Municipality under an EU funded project
[UN-Habitat/ Hamza Sulub]

“The public space development at the beach will unlock its potential as an asset for tourism. Consequently, these public spaces will create a vibrant and accessible environment that integrate the needs of various groups especially the vulnerable such as children, youth, girls, waste pickers and those working in the informal sector,” said Ishaku Maitumbi, officer in charge of the UN-Habitat Somalia Programme.

The Berbera Beach development is part of the wider EUR 7.5 million Berbera Urban Development project launched in January 2020. UN-Habitat and the Berbera Municipality are implementing this urban development project aimed at contributing to inclusive and sustainable urban development and economic growth through improved waste management, infrastructure and services.

The municipality also aims to improve infrastructure and services of the Beach Road and the main street connecting the beachfront with the city centre to develop a people-oriented network of public spaces.

The Berbera public space regeneration project works towards the achievement of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goal 11 to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces for all by 2030.