Beled Hawo

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Beled Hawo
Buulo Xaawo
Beled Hawo is located in Somalia
Beled Hawo
Beled Hawo
Location in Somalia
Coordinates: 3°55′43″N 41°52′34″E / 3.92861°N 41.87611°E / 3.92861; 41.87611Coordinates: 3°55′43″N 41°52′34″E / 3.92861°N 41.87611°E / 3.92861; 41.87611
Country  Somalia
Region Gedo
District Beled Hawo
Government
 • Mayor Ahmed Mohamed Yusuf
 • Deputy Mayor Ahmed Aden Iriri
Population
 • Total 73,000 est.
Time zone East Africa Time (UTC+3)

Beled Hawo (Somali: Beledxaawo or Buuloxaawo) is the second largest city in Gedo, the largest province in Somalia situated in the southwestern part of the country. The town is also the headquarters of Beled Hawo District, which, like most other districts in the region, is named after its principal town.

History[edit]

Beled Hawo was founded in 1910 by Xaawo Cismaan Gurey, a woman from whom the town's name is ultimately derived. Beled Hawo literally means "City of Xawo" in Somali. Also Xawa Samater Aaamin who was then the wife of a Somali soldier, Farax Looyaan, who was based in the Mandhera District of what was then the Northern Frontier District (NFD).

The town was completely rebuilt in the early 1960s, after the British had burned down its original structures. It is situated strategically where Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia where three borders meet together

Beled Hawo replaced Garbaharey as the capital of the Gedo region in 1985. The border with the Ogaden and the NFD, as well as its close proximity to Kismaayo brought wealth into the city, which made it grow dramatically. Beled Hawo then became Gedo's second largest town after Baardheere, and one of the most important cities in Somalia. Songs and plays have been dedicated to the city by many well-known Somali artists, praising its natural scenery and its hospitable and generous residents.

Transportation[edit]

Public transportation is through public buses or blue and white share taxis, locally known as "white horses" or faras cadeyaal (in Somali). The taxis are usually minibuses that can sit at least twelve people and small sedans imported from Japan. Two people are responsible for each taxi, the driver and a Kirishboy (Garage Boy in English) who collects fares and calls out the taxi's destination.

The town is served by a makeshift airport, where a new paved landing opened in 2004. The old makeshift airport in the western district is used mostly by small craft and carrier jets. Neighboring cities in the region include Garbaharey, Luuq, Doollow, and Dhamasa.

Governance[edit]

Somalia's Balad Hawo district administration has established good working relations in the neighboring Somali populated Kenyan district of Mandhera. The administration has continued to negotiate the free movement of goods and people between the two border towns Balad Hawo, Somalia and Mandera, Northeastern. There are thousands of students who pass through border patrol each morning and make their journey back homes at the end of the day.