The GEED DEEBLE area is the first established national Botanic Garden in Somaliland it is located North of Hargeisa City at a distance of 25 Km. The area harbours many years old Fig trees which botanically indicates the presence of groundwater in the area. The area still serves as the main water source for Hargeisa city and the surrounding communities. The two main seasonal rivers cross the garden and also meet together dividing it into three parts. The seasonal rivers and the flood line in the garden would give more natural beauty and tourist attractions to the Botanic Garden, particularly in the dry season.
Observation for data collection and analysis survey study In the first part of this project the landscape Architect, An ecological assessment was conducted across the Botanic Garden and marked 810 hectares of the botanical garden and recorded 83 trees growing inside the botanical garden. An ecological baseline study of the Botanic garden was made by senior environment consultants from Addis Ababa University and local experts.
Development of a master plan and Concept Design
Barwaaqo Voluntary Organization (BVO) in collaboration with its partner organization HOAREC&N has constituted a team of experts comprising four international consultants from Ethiopia and Four local consultants to develop a comprehensive master plan and concept design for the botanical garden.
In addition, they have also conducted a vegetation survey of the project area and collected samples of plants, and named the family name of each plant.
Mapping of Botanic garden land was undertaken and produced various maps for the botanic garden including Boundary map, Topographic Map, Drainage and slope map, land Cover, landform, etc.
Launching Ceremony of Geed-deeble Botanical Garden
On 29th August 2021, Barwaaqo Voluntary Organization with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Rural Development launched the Geed-deeble Botanical garden in a highly organized ceremony held inside the Botanical garden area in Geed deeble village, 25km North of Hargeisa.
The Botanical garden was officially launched by the Vice President of the Republic of Somaliland, H.E. Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismail Saylici. The event was also participated by the Minister of Planning and National Development, Minister of Finance development, Minister of Information and National Guidance, Minister of Water Resources Development (MoWRD), The governor of Maroodi Jeeh region, District Commissioner of Darasalam, UN Agency representatives, INGOs, NGOs, Universities and Business groups. It was a half-day event where all participants visited the different parts of the Garden including vegetation land, natural rocks, indigenous plants, and also dry rivers.
They have also walked over the mountain to see the beautiful nature of Geed-deeble Botanical Garden. The major aim of this event was to bring decision-makers from Government, UN agencies, and private companies to nature and learn about its potential resources of it and how it can be protected. It was also aimed to persuade decision-makers and stakeholders to further commit to the implementation of the Geed deeble Botanical garden. In addition, it was also advocacy for them to stand up for protecting the environment through farming, and research.
Master plan validation workshop for stakeholders Geed-deeble Botanic Garden
On 19th December 2021, Barwaaqo Voluntary Organization (BVO) has organized a stakeholder’s workshop to validate the Master plan and conceptual design of Geed deeble Botanical Garden. the BVO chair-lady miss Khadra omer Hassan have opened and welcomed all participants to a stakeholder’s workshop aimed to validate the Master plan and conceptual design of Geed deeble Botanical Garden. The stakeholder’s validation workshop was participated by local international organizations and UN agencies including the Nagaad network. Nafis Network, NGO Consortium, and a number of government officials including, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Honorable Shukri Hajji Ismail Baandare, Minister of Finance Honorable Dr. Sa’ad Ali Shire, Minister of Public works and Housing Honorable Abdillahi Abokor Osman and the Governor of Maroodi jeex region Honorable Mohamed Ismail.
The event was also participated by the Executive Director of Horn of Africa Regional Environmental Center and Network (HOAREC) Dr. Mekuria, who is a partner organization for the implementation of the project, and Mr. Ayele Kebede, who is representing the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), who has funded the first phase of the project, officials from the University of Hargeisa and other prominent academic institutions in the country, university students as well as representatives from Somaliland civil society organizations.
After the opening remarks from the officials, the event, the team of the International experts presented the master plan developed and the conceptual design of the Botanical garden. After the presentations, participants commented on the master plan and the conceptual design, they also contributed new ideas and suggestions that were welcomed by the International consultants.
Prosopis juliflora clearance
The garden was densely forested with Prosopis juliflora trees and difficult to access.
The best techniques adopted were cutting down and clearing the Prosopis trees by the use of hand tools such as felling axes, in addition to this, the area of the stump was cleared for uprooting and burnt to prevent the regrowth of the Prosopis using fuel.
BVO has implemented conditional cash transfer in the garden to clear and open the garden’s entry and main sites. BVO recruited 50 people from the Geed-deeble village to cut and burn the Prosopis juliflora tree and clean up the green space.
A site supervisor was appointed to oversee the work and provide effective guidance in order to protect the garden’s indigenous trees. Around 3 km was cleared in two months, as shown in the photos below. BVO management provided hand tools and project information to the village’s target communities. Cash for Work activities had a positive impact on the lives of agro-pastoral communities; they received cash and improved their livelihood, and food consumption at the household level, and also protected the environment, particularly soil and plants. They have understood the importance of having a botanical garden in the village and how it will contribute to the national development plan for the country (Somaliland). Geed deeble community has shown full support to the project and supported the purposed activities from BVO.
The area cleared from Prosopis is now free from invasive species and will be suitable for planting.
National chapter and stakeholders Consultation meeting
On the first of January 2021 Barwaaqo Voluntary Organization – BVO has organized a two-day consultation meeting for the National chapter and stakeholders of the Geed-deeble botanical garden and Yehub nut restoration trans boundary project. The meeting took place at the SUMMERTIME Hotel in Hargeisa and was attended by all stakeholders from NGOs, ministries, universities, and companies. The main objective of this meeting was to educate stakeholders on the project and the progress made so far, and presentations were displayed on the site showing what the site is before and how it will be in the future and what kinds of trees could be found in the country.
The meeting was opened by BVO Chair-lady Mrs. Khadra Omer Hassan and she spoke about the status of the Botanic Garden and its importance and provided further details on the current status of the project Geed- deeble Botanic Garden which she noted was beneficial. “This Botanic Garden will play an important role in protecting the environment and I would like to encourage you to protect it,” she said.
At the end of the meeting, the importance of the Botanic Garden was agreed.
Nursery is designed to store plants and grow them to the point where they are planted in the ground. So the BVO’s nurseries are planted with a wide variety of plants such as those intended both for shade and for beauty and some for bearing fruit.
Site visit by Government officials Hoarec and SIDA
On December 21, 2021, a team comprising of the international consultants for the Master plan development, senior officials from HoAREC&N and SIDA as well as the Deputy Governor of Maroodi Jeex region and the Director-General of the Ministry of Environment and climate and officials from the University of Hargeisa have visited the Geed deeble Botanical Garden area.
The Objective of the Visit was to bring together all stakeholders of the project to discuss the Botanical Garden and once again reaffirm their commitment to the project.
The team has toured the area and monitored the different parts of the Botanical Garden designated area. During the visit, the team was briefed by officials from BVO and the International consultants.
Officials from all the stakeholders have once again reaffirmed their commitment to making the project successful.
field visit and monitoring by the BVO team
During the first six months of the year, officials from Barwaaqo Voluntary Organization have conducted monitoring and evaluation missions to the project site area.
BVO Chairperson Madam Khadra Omar Hassan and BVO management team have visited the project site to oversee the re-emergence of the Prosopis juliflora in the areas cleared before. The mission has seen that the Prosopis has invaded a large part of the land. The mission has held a meeting with the local community and team of Prosopis of experts and has discussed with them the possible ways Prosopis can be prevented from re-emergence. The experts have suggested that invasive tree is transported from one area to another by the floods and the moving animals, therefore, a continuous and daily observation is required to prevent the spread of the invasive species in the area.