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The Importance Of The Jubba River
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Africa is a continent with vast regions of arid climate, hot places where food is scarce and water is even scarcer. Somalia has the privilege of having a generous “guest” which can provide with a better quality of life, means of transport and many other resources if correctly exploited.
This so called “guest” is the Jubba, a river which descends from the borders of Ethiopia right to the shores of the Indian Ocean. Its basin is an incredibly lush and fertile savanna which is appropriate for agriculture and animal farming as well as filled with the most surprising and beautiful wildlife. This diverse area is home to lions, leopards, crocodiles, giraffes and much, much more. But the richness and the biodiversity of the Jubba River Basin is in grave danger because of the irresponsibility and terrible management in the area.
Rivers are decisive elements in the development of human cities and structures. They are the providers of water and nourishment for many human settlements which lay on their banks. Imagine how important a river can be in dusty and scorched Africa, where poverty and underdevelopment are everywhere around us.
Food is scarce as it is in these parts of the world, and it depends directly on the amount of water which is available for the specific activities involved in producing it. Therefore, the key to plenty of food is having plenty of water and managing the amount of water in a dry area that is prone to prolonged draughts.
Managing a river’s water is not as easy as it sounds, especially if it is an international river, as is Jubba. Rivers which flow in more than one country raise unprecedented water management problems. The conflicts regarding consumption, distribution, destination and pollution are immensely complex and almost impossible to solve.
The Jubba River Basin has long been under the scope of the Mogadishu Government, which has tried to mediate and resolve the conflicts between the investors in the area and population that dwells along the river and the Ethiopian Government. The disputes have had direct repercussions as far as the development in the area is concerned.
The investments and agricultural activities in the basin have seen better days. Because of local instability and inappropriate management of the resources, most people run away from the area, seeking safer and less controversial investments elsewhere. The basin of the Jubba is highly unappreciated despite its diversity and richness and this has taken a toll upon the development of drainage and irrigation systems which are supposed to improve the quality of life and encourage the opening businesses along the river.
The current struggle is to find fast solutions for the area before the poor the salinisation and waterlogging turn the river and surrounding land in completely useless elements. The only way of preventing these damaging processes is through adequate drainage and responsible water managing. The future of Somalia’s Jubba River remains uncertain until something is done about its terrible situation.
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