Land and Resources, Environmental Issues
Overgrazing, intestinal parasites, desertification, endangered species, international agreement
Somalia is one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries, with 75 percent (1990) of the labor force dependent on agriculture. Only 1.7 percent (1997) of the country’s land is arable, and 0.3 percent (1997) is irrigated. Overgrazing, deforestation, and periodic drought have led to desertification.
Only 31 percent (1990-1998 estimate) of Somalia’s population currently has access to safe sources of water. As a result, about 75 percent of the population is afflicted by intestinal parasites.
Only 0.30 percent (1997) of Somalia’s land was officially protected before the country’s civil war. Protected areas suffer from poaching, logging, and illegal grazing. Of the nation’s many animal species, 32 are threatened with extinction. Somalia has ratified an international agreement protecting endangered species.
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