Delegation of the European Union to Somalia

Inclusive and sustainable economic growth

30/05/2018 - 10:45
Thematic overview

Infrastructure and Natural Resource Management Sector - Working with Somali people to build peace and prosperity.

The years of civil unrest in Somalia have left the country largely bereft of basic infrastructure, which is necessary for stabilisation and development. The four main areas of focus by the EU have specific importance in rebuilding Somalia's economy, providing employment and linking Somalia to other countries in the region.

Water: Access to safe and potable water is still a challenge in many parts of Somalia. The majority of the water sources in rural areas are dug wells (62%) and boreholes (19%) complemented by surface water sources. Urban areas depend mainly on boreholes complemented by dug wells for water supply. Overall access to improved water supply in Somalia increased from 21% in 2000 to 30% in 2011. However, the proportion of rural dwellers with access to water and sanitation significantly decreased from 15% to 7%, while that of urban areas increased from 35% to 66% in the same period (NDP 2016).

Energy: Traditional forms of energy constitute the bulk of energy supply in Somalia, with access to electricity in rural areas being very low. The energy mix in Somalia is reliant upon locally available charcoal and firewood as the core sources of energy, meeting nearly 80-90% of the energy needs. The total installed and operational generating capacity in Somalia is estimated to be 80-85 MW with an estimated 250,000 electricity connections. Key issues in the energy sector include providing cleaner and affordable energy options for the bulk of the population; improving the efficiency of electricity generation in order to reduce the cost of electricity generation, transmission and distribution; and ensuring the institutional, legal and regulatory framework to govern the energy sector is in place.

Transport (Roads): The 21,933km long road network in Somalia is in poor to very poor condition. 90 % of the primary roads have deteriorated and are well past their designed life-span. Only 2,860 km (13%) of a total 21,830 km of roads are paved. The rest of the network is earth or gravel (NDP 2016).  Poor road networks impede access to markets and services for the population and increases costs of living. There is also little attention given to road maintenance, which has to be supported by regulation and standards (axle load laws). Challenges to developing major road infrastructure include the inability to access concessional funding, political tensions and insecurity.

Natural Resource Management: Natural resource management focuses on conserving and preserving renewable and non-renewable natural resources in operational areas both in inland and coastal areas. Under this area of focus, the EU supports interventions on banning and discouraging charcoal production for export, planting both edible and non-edible trees, promotion of use of solar power, and energy efficient cooking stoves for peri-urban areas.  The EU via its funded projects; Somalia Energy Transport (SET) and Programme for Sustainable Reduction of Charcoal and Alternative Livelihoods (PROSCAL) sensitises the communities to become better stewards of natural resources in order to protect, conserve and use the environment wisely. 

The EU is one of the main donors in the water and sanitation sector in Somalia, and Somalia was historically a recipient of funds from the EU Water Facility. The focus of current interventions funded in the water sector is the development of public private partnerships for urban water management and development, mainly in Somaliland and Puntland which have stable institutional systems. Assessments on the feasibility of implementing water systems in federal states have been completed.

There are plans to expand water connectivity in Hargeisa by several actors, and EUTF will fund the development of water resources for Bosaso city in order to secure water supply for the foreseeable future. Funding for roads and energy is however limited from the EU. Through the World Bank-administered Multi Partner Trust Fund, the EU supports a number of infrastructure projects covering the assessment of renewable energy potential, cross border electricity connections, rehabilitation of roads and government administrative buildings and markets, and ICT Connectivity. A number of EU Member States and the US support a number of infrastructure projects, usually with limited duration and geographical coverage. Planned contracts to be signed in 2018/19:  under negotiation Regional Indicative Programme titled Somalia Regional Corridors Infrastructure Programme with African Development Bank (41.5 MEUR); Restore's Bosaso Spring Water Sources Development with Terre Solidali (5 MEUR).

The future strategy is a more integrated approach which links infrastructural investments with key productive and social sectors, which will boost resilience of local communities. The application of sustainable and labour intensive technologies would provide much needed jobs for youth and ensure use of indigenous resources.

  • Huge needs for infrastructure vis-à-vis limited funding and other equally important needs
  • Weak institutional structures and political tensions affecting the management of large infrastructure projects
  • Limited focus on sanitation and rural water by EU and other donors
  • Reliance on traditional fuels (charcoal) presents challenges to health, environment and overall economic development. High costs of diesel generated electricity limit access.
  • Potential to expand to federal member states and support the recovery of the liberated towns with much needed infrastructure in view of youth job creation and access to live saving utilities such as clean water.
  • Available water sector masterplans for cities in Somalia, which could benefit from other funding instruments e.g. blending facility by promoting working public private partnerships to deliver clean water and electricity with an inclusive agenda for vulnerable groups or persons.
  • Promotion of Renewable energy markets contextualizing environmental and economic benefits for Somalia
  • Rural Water infrastructure (e.g. support to canals and reservoirs) and rural access roads to support productive agricultural sectors has potential to boost employment and revive agricultural economy.

Project Title & Implementing Partner: Improving Urban Water Service Delivery in Somaliland – UNICEF

Amount in EUR: 3,744,749.00

Main objectives: PPP management of water supply for 4 towns; Water user association strengthening; Repair/Installation of basic infrastructure

Action locations: Tog Waajale, Burco, Boroma and Erigavo


Project Title & Implementing Partner: Hargeisa Urban Water Supply Upgrading Project (HUWSUP) - UNHABITAT

Amount in EUR: 15,800,000.00

Main objectives: Replacement of 23km of water supply network for Hargeisa City; Construction of new pump house and increase of water supply

Action locations: Hargeisa


Project Title & Implementing Partner: Somalia Multi-Partner Fund (TF 072283) – WORLD BANK

Amount in EUR: 5,750,000.00

Main objectives: Support to installation and integration of pilot renewable energy systems into existing electricity grid for urban electricity; improvement of legal and regulatory and institutional frameworks; support to PPPs

Action locations: Somalia Countrywide


Project Title & Implementing Partner: Somali Energy Transformation (SET) Project - ADRA DEUTCHLAND

Amount in EUR: 2,000,000.00

Main objectives: Development of solar products for the bottom of the grid; training on energy technologies; grants for energy enterprises; mini electrification grids in rural areas; energy policy dialogues.

Action locations: Somalia Countrywide


Project Title & Implementing Partner: Programme for Sustainable Reduction of Charcoal and Alternative Livelihoods (PROSCAL) - UNDP

Amount in EUR: 3,500,000.00

Main objectives: Promotion energy security and more resilient livelihoods through a gradual reduction of unsustainable charcoal production, trade and use in Somalia

Action locations: Somalia Countrywide


Project Title & Implementing Partner: Sustainable Road Maintenance Project (SRMP) - Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Amount in EUR: 19,739,004.00

Main objectives: Up to 140 km of roads rehabilitated in Puntland and Somaliland; Capacity enhancement of highway authorities in Puntland Highway Authority and Somaliland's Road Development to enforce road maintenance standards; Working with FGS Ministry of Public Works Housing and Reconstruction to Establishment of National Roads and Highways Authority for Somalia

Action locations: Somalia Countrywide

Susanne MARTIN – Head of Section

Mohamed HAJI – Programme Manager

Abdikadir ABDI – Press and Information Officer

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