Italian Somalia – Southern Somalia

By | December 15, 2021

Southern Somalia (the name of Benadir is reserved for its coastal strip) is limited to E. from the middle Uebi Scebeli, to the West from the middle and lower Juba, and differs clearly from northern and central Somalia, not only for the geological constitution and morphology, but also for the climate and vegetation, and above all for the presence of two large perennial rivers and numerous springs, lakes and ponds. Here there is a lack of tertiary soils and especially ancient crystalline rocks emerge (red granites, gneisses, schists, quartz concentrations), the chalky varicolored sandstones called Lugh, the Jurassic marly limestones, the Cretaceous sandstones and limestones, nor the eruptive rocks: especially basalts and tuffs. Vast areas are occupied by dune sands, eluvial sands, alluvial clays, from steppe limestones, etc. A coastal alluvial region and an inland region can be distinguished. The coastal alluvial region is formed by an uninterrupted chain of ancient dunes, fixed, covered with scrub (vegetation of thorny shrubs and small trees, with a prevalence of Umbrella Acacias associated with rare baobabs, candelabra euphorbias, etc.) which they cling to here and there. there mobile and germinating dunes, with the coast partly sandy and partly formed of limestone banks a few meters high above the sea. This coastal area, which rises with the dunes up to 100 and 150 m. and extends for over 400 km. for a width from 5 to 20 km., it is used as pasture (ghel ghel) by transhumant shepherds, of the Hauìa tribe (Uadàn, Mursola), by the Bimàl or Rahanuin (Tuni). For Somalia 1997, please check

The villages, inhabited especially by Negroid people (Scidle, Sciaveli) or Protocamites (Uaboni, Gobauin, etc.) are numerous, and here the concessions are located. The internal region, with a rocky frame and somewhat more abundant rainfall, can in turn be divided into two areas: the area of ​​crystalline rocks or the area of bur, consisting of an inclined plane of lateritic sands, from which emerge isolated granite hills called by the indigenous Bur (Bur Acaba, m. 350; Bur Eibi, m. 571; Bur Dinsor, m. 623; Bur Cur Egherta, m. 345) and covered with generally thick and flourishing bush; and the area of ​​the calcareous or arenaceous-chalky plateaus, partly with basaltic cover, covered with often rather thin scrub, and extended inland even beyond the border, where they continue in the galla plateaus. The inland region has widespread if not abundant underground waters and is partly inhabited by semi-nomadic shepherds Hauìa (Galgiàl, Di Godìa, Giagele) and Dighil or Rahanuin (Gherra, Lissan, Jantar, Ober), partly, in the most favorable areas by nature of the soil and amount of rainfall, by people also dedicated to agriculture and residents in fixed villages,

The inner zone reaches the maximum known elevation within the Italian border at Budulca a Somalia di Oddur (m. 710).

The source of wealth of southern Somalia is especially constituted by the waters: not only from groundwater or sub-river waters, which feed wells and small springs, but above all from running waters. The local watercourses (bohòl) all have a temporary regime, and mainly involve the stagnant water (uel) which after the rains remain for some time in their bed: to these, as well as to the wells (el) and to the watering of rivers (som. hele, galla: malca), the shepherds go with their herds. The two perennial courses, Giuba or Ganana and Uebi Scebeli, originate outside the Italian territory, and in this they become more or less impoverished, by evaporation and infiltration, so that the second does not reach the sea and only indirectly mixes its waters to those of Juba. The maximum flow rates of the Uebi Scebeli measured in Afgoi are 183 cubic meters. to the second: and at that time it spreads, in its lower course, in vast parallel ponds: the daily losses in the 700 km. of route in Italian territory are calculated at 500,000 cubic meters. per day. The Uebi Scebeli is navigable for a certain stretch of its middle course for a good part of the year, but in maximum lean it is reduced to a trickle of water, which connects vast pools, in which fish, crocodiles, and hippos. The Giuba has greater ranges: in Matagassile, 30 km. upstream of Bardera, where navigability ceases due to some rapids, there would be a flood flow rate of 721 cubic meters; at Mofi near Margherita, in the Goscia, 602 and 544 cubic meters were measured. The tide goes back up the river for over 20 km. and makes its waters more or less brackish from that point to the mouth, which opens like a hook near the villages of Giumbo and Gobuen.

Southern Somalia