Somalia’s Minister of Environment presents Environmental Protection bill to Upper House
Mogadishu (HOL) – Somalia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Khadijo Mohamed Almakhsoumi, took the floor in the Upper House of the Parliament on Wednesday to present the Environmental Protection and Management Bill. The bill had previously received approval from the Lower House on March 8, 2023.
During the parliamentary session, Minister Almakhsoumi outlined the bill’s key provisions and objectives, underscoring its potential impact on environmental protection and attracting investment to the country.
She emphasized the importance of approving the Environmental Protection and Management Bill, as it would enable the Somali government to collaborate more effectively with international organizations dedicated to environmental conservation.
“By implementing this agreement, the country would be better positioned to undertake development projects, thereby enhancing investor confidence,” Almakhsoumi told the Senators.
The Ministry of Environment, a newly established entity in Somalia, was formed with the primary mandate of safeguarding the environment and ensuring the well-being of the population.
The Minister emphasized the significance of robust environmental protection laws to achieve a cleaner environment. She highlighted that the proposed bill is in accordance with Somalia’s constitution and international agreements aimed at environmental preservation and climate change mitigation.
Somalia actively participates in several critical environmental protection agreements, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Despite contributing little to climate change, Somalia is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to its effect. In the past 30 years, Somalia has experienced long droughts and unpredictable and at times extreme rainfall, which have become more intense and frequent.
The recent and ongoing drought is the longest in the last four decades, with an unprecedented five failed rains. The last drought in 2016-17 led to damages and losses of over USD 3.25 billion, requiring support costing USD 1.77 billion. Somalia has seen severe flooding and locust infestations and is projected to experience shifts in long-term climatic conditions such as temperatures and sea level rise.
Last May, floods have caused almost a quarter of a million people to flee their homes after the Shabelle river in central Somalia broke its banks and submerged the town of Beledweyne, even as the country faces its most severe drought in four decades, according to the government.
Since mid-March, the floods have affected more than 460,000 nationwide and killed 22, according to the U.N. humanitarian office (OCHA).
The Somali Disaster Management Agency said the floods in Beledweyne alone have caused the displacement of more than 245,000 people.