Challenges and Opportunities of Hargeisa Water Project (By: Khalid Urakte)


First of all, this piece of writing focuses on the challenges and remedies of current Hargeisa Water Projects since the city faces water insufficiency due to some reasons beyond the known facts. Though, Hargeisa is the capital city of Somaliland country and it’s the most populous city for the entire country which has the population estimated around 1 million inhabitants. In addition, according to my point of view, numerous social problems exist in this capital city, but the core one is insufficiency of safe and clean water. As you aware of, water is one of the live saving services which we cannot live without it. Moreover, as identified, around 75% of Hargeisa’s population do not get enough water. By the way, to response these numerous challenges, in particularly insufficiency water, there has been tried to implement so many projects related to water expansion throughout the whole sections/villages of the city. Thereby, this brief overview focuses on the issues related to Hargeisa Water Expansion Projects, specifically current project limitations and opportunities.


To compile this short overview it has been employed data collection instruments including KII and telephone interview with the officials of the Hargeisa Water Agency and other stakeholders who are fully knowledgeable and aware of the status quo of Hargeisa Water Expansion Project.

Key Findings/ Discussion 

In this session, it is being gathered and conceptualized the main challenges which have hindered the accomplishment of the project named Hargeisa Water Extension and they are as follows with further clarifications.


  • Shallow boreholes

Firstly, the challenge that is  not allowing the completion of effective water distribution is the shallow wells since the capacity of the available wells do not matching to cover the amount of the water required by the whole population of the city based on the location they are placed. There are around 12 wells that have been built on same site which made imposable to be gotten sufficient water which can be expanded throughout the city in order to be implemented effective water supply and distribution among the urban areas in Hargeisa, Somaliland. Further along, the expert which I have met with emphasized that the depth of these wells is very short, thus their watering capacity is limited.

  • Lack of Knowledge

As the participants emphasized the main problem which hindered to be completely succeeded with Hargeisa Water Expansion, is lack of knowledge and skills related to hydrogeological or geophysical records and instruments. In addition, the experts who are hired from abroad countries are not mainly familiar with Somaliland’s context as well as they are not the right ones who can fully understand the physical features of the county. Moreover, based on their performance they seem as incompetent expert who failed to accomplish what they have been hired. In addition, this could be followed by lack of professional project managers who can fairly understand the context and its consequences, the latter is considered as the heart of project successfulness.

  • Insufficiency Resource

The other core circumstance that faced the deliverability of the Hargeisa Water Expansion Project, can be considered as limited  resource, specifically the project seems that it  will consume an extra time beyond the allotted due to unexpected activities that arose from the environment and stakeholders, which can increase the costs against as intended. Therefore, this project may need to be allocated  another budget and time as well.

  • Environmental / Technical issues

As sourced from the experts who have learnt the Geology and Water Construction fields, there are so many excavators which has been cracked down by the bedrocks. These bedrocks lie inside the ground, thus when the ground is being dug in order to insert the pipelines, the excavators hit with these bedrocks and caused to get damaged. Therefore, around ten excavators were kept into the garages due to irreversible damage.

  • Dispute of Water Reservoir Construction 

The water cascades or water reservoirs are mainly used when water supply system is being implemented, but in Hargeisa Somaliland, in particular Ga’an Libah village there was a dispute resulted by the construction of one reservoir at this site, though it has been solved. Thus, there is delay of critical tasks which have been formerly planned.

  • Distance

Though, the establishment of the Geed Deeble water boreholes (the main water source of Hargeisa’s city) dates back around five decades ago and it’s far from the city around 28 kilometers. Therefore, this seems as challenge since the water site distance is not so close to the city. Thus, even the pipeline placing or putting pipes to the ground may take an extra effort and cause wastefulness of resources and time.

Possible actions to tackle these limitations 

  • Hiring Competent Staff 

When the projects are being implemented, it is needed to have competent staff or the right persons for the right positions which may contribute for the success of the projects. Therefore, if these Hargeisa Water Extension Project gets competent staff who have the skills, knowledge and experience required for the running of this project, it could be achieved easily with minimum effort, time and maximum output.

  • Strong Managerial Skills 

The most effective strategy that can be attained any desired results is throughout balancing and exploiting for whole managerial skills required from the top, middle and first line managers. On the other hand, in order to avoid unnecessary ambiguity, corruption and other mismanagement issues the team of this project must abide the principles of good governance and service delivery as well.

  • Safe Explosion 

In generally, when the bedrocks are met during the digging of the ground, the excavators cannot excavate effectively and they can get damaged due to the hardness of the bedrocks which exceeds beyond their capacity. Therefore, according to the Geological experts at this time it is necessary to be employed safe explosion on the bedrocks in order to make loose material or sand which can easily ploughed.

  • Water Survey/ Alternative 

As we discussed earlier these wells are very shallow and they are very close with each other, thus it is so important to be gotten another alternative strategy by making Hydrogeological Survey in order to be found another sources which have much water, and less distance than these sites. Further along, we can come up with another technique rather boreholes, such as damming, and capturing rain water of the main valleys near the city during the rainy seasons.

  • Re-plan, Re-implementation and Lessons Learnt 

All and all, as identified and found from reliable source, this project is likely that it is not on time and budget since it has been formerly scheduled that it come to end by November, 2021, yet it needs extra time, resources, and effort. Therefore, the key points which can be taken are to re-plan the entire project by setting SMART objectives. Furthermore, this could facilitate to be effortlessly implemented and succeeded for this project. However, lessons Learnt must be used an instrument among the project tools since it has not been utilized the former lessons of the former failed projects like Xumbo-weyne.


Last but not least, this paper outlines numerous obstacles /limitations against the continuation of the Hargeisa Water Extension Project. Similarly, by utilizing expert judgment and insider’s experience, the paper comes up with way forward and possible actions to take. For instance, water survey, re-planning and re-implementing are the key success solutions toward Hargeisa Water Expansion Project.