Maydh Jetty impact: Stimulating Sanag's economy
Like many small coastal communities in Somaliland, Maydh has experienced both prosperity and decline. In the past, it had a wooden jetty which was vital for the local fishery industry and for the export of livestock, fish, and local products to neighbouring countries such as Yemen. However, two decades ago, the jetty fell into disrepair, leading to economic hardships for fishermen and residents alike. Many were forced to leave Maydh in search of better opportunities in neighbouring towns or even move to Hargeisa. Some even had to sell their boats to fund their relocation.
In December 2020, in an effort to unlock potential and bring development to both coastal and inland communities in Sanag, the Ministry of Livestock and Rural Development (MoLRD), with funding from the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) in line with the Second National Development Plan (NDP2), initiated the construction of a new 165m long steel jetty in Maydh. The project was completed in December 2022.
Since then, many people have returned to Maydh, and fishermen now have a modern jetty where vessels can be docked, and goods and produce can be brought ashore safely. The jetty also facilitates the export of livestock and other local produce to neighbouring countries.
Ali Dhunkaal, a 68-year-old influential fisherman, regularly moors his boat at the new jetty, he believes it is essential for the fishery business in Maydh. He praises the jetty for protecting their boats from storm damage and for facilitating the smooth unloading of their daily catches. According to Ali, "The jetty has made us operational and put us back in business."
The new jetty has not only helped relaunch the fishery sector in Maydh and Sanag but has also encouraged locals to export their goods via the jetty to neighbouring Yemen once more. Previously, livestock was exported through distant ports such as Bosaso and Berbera, resulting in high transport costs and livestock losses. The old wooden jetty always lacked adequate equipment, leading to longer loading times and damage to livestock.
Mohamed Arale Bilad, a livestock trader in Sanag region, expresses gratitude to the MoLRD, SDF, and their development partners for reconstructing and upgrading the Maydh Jetty. He highlights the improved efficiency and reduced costs of exporting livestock and local products, leading to increased income and local economy taking good shape.
"I am grateful to both the MoLRD and SDF for easing our problems and bringing a much-needed infrastructure closer to us. Previously, we had to endure tedious trips and spend a lot of money to access it. The Maydh Jetty has already made a significant difference in our business, especially in the export of livestock."says Mohamed Arale
The new jetty has brought new hope in the locals and residents of Sanag, encouraging more frequent exports through the facility. This year alone, they have successfully exported a significant number of livestock via the jetty, thanks to its excellent loading and administration services. Additionally, thousands of artisanal fishers rely on the jetty daily for docking and essential services.
The new jetty opens up development opportunities for the business community in the Sanag region and Somaliland as a whole. It is expected that Maydh will soon regain its role in the economic development of Eastern Somaliland, primarily supporting artisanal fishermen, the fishery industry, and livestock trading while contributing significantly to the country's GDP.
*Maydh has been identified as one of the several ports and harbours for development under the Second National Development Plan (NDP2). The jetty is intended to improve interconnectivity by sea between Berbera and Sanag and parts of Togdheer regions, supporting fishery business and strengthening the livelihoods of artisanal fishermen, hence spurring economic growth and potentially benefiting about 750,000 people in the eastern Somaliland. Ultimately, Maydh jetty is expected to enhance food security, employment, and livelihoods of the people in these regions through a reliable supply of fish and other commercial goods.