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Arid and Semi-Arid Landscape of Somalia

9.6N 48.5E

September 25th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Somalia - September 1st, 2009

Somalia - September 1st, 2009

Africa’s easternmost country, Somalia has a land area of 637,540 square kilometers. Somalia occupies the tip of a region commonly referred to as the Horn of Africa that also includes Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. Somalia’s long coastline (3,025 kilometers) has been of importance chiefly in permitting trade with the Middle East and the rest of the Horn of Africa.

Somalia’s terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains, and highlands. In the far north, however, the rugged east-west ranges of the Karkaar Mountains lie at varying distances from the Gulf of Aden coast. Parts of these ranges appear dark green here, just inland of the northern shores.

The weather in Somalia is hot throughout the year, except at the higher elevations in the north. Rainfall is sparse, and most of Somalia has a semiarid-to- arid environment, as can be inferred from the tan and orange color of the landscape, suitable only for nomadic pastoralism.

Only in limited areas of moderate rainfall in the northwest, and particularly in the southwest, where the country’s two perennial rivers are found, is agriculture practiced to any extent.

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