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Qardho is located in Somalia
Location in Somalia
Coordinates: 9°30′N 49°05′E / 9.500°N 49.083°E / 9.500; 49.083Coordinates: 9°30′N 49°05′E / 9.500°N 49.083°E / 9.500; 49.083


Region Bari
District Qardho
 • Total 47,400
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
Climate BWh

Qardho (Somali: Qardho, Arabic: قرضو‎), also known as Gardo, is a city in the northeastern Bari region of Somalia. Part of the autonomous Puntland state, it is the center of the Qardho District.


Qardho is one of a series of ancient settlements in northern Somalia. In the Arie valley, mid-way between the city and Iskushuban, once lay a sizable town that had considerable structures with thick walls.[1] Qardho is also situated near the burial place of the immediate forefather of the Marehan Darod clan.

In the early modern period, Qardho was a part of the Majeerteen Sultanate (Migiurtinia), centered in Aluula.[2] It was later incorporated into Italian Somaliland during the early 20th century.

In the post-independence period, Qardho became the official hub of the Qardho District. It is today the fourth largest city in the autonomous Puntland state, which was formed in 1998. Qardho also serves as the capital of the Karkaar sub-region.


As of 2000, Qardho had a population of around 47,400 inhabitants.[3] The broader Qardho District has a total population of 60,825 residents.[4]


Qardho has a number of academic institutions. According to the Puntland Ministry of Education, there are 39 primary schools in the Qardho District. Among these are Al-Xanaan, Shire, Gahayr and Gudcad.[5] Secondary schools in the area include Sheikh Osman, Muntada, Nawawi and Al-Ashar.[6] Al-Azhar University, Egypt's highest authority for Islamic affairs, also operates a school in Qardho.[7]

At the post-secondary level, the East Somalia University (ESU) offers higher instruction.[8] East Africa University (EAU) also has one of its seven branches in the city.[9]


On November 25, 2012, the Puntland government opened a new maximum security prison facility in Qardho. Inaugurated by former Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamud Farole and a delegation of cabinet ministers, senior government representatives and district officials, the institution provides both custodial housing and social rehabilitation programs. The UNDP is also slated to assist in capacity building for the prison's correctional administration and staff.[10]

Additionally, the city is served by the Gardo General Hospital. A private healthcare facility, it has a Microbiology Service Laboratory.[11]

In April 2013, the Puntland Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources announced plans to open a new fish market within the year in Qardho. The project is part of a larger regional development plan that will also see a similar marketplace inaugurated in Galkayo, in the model of the already launched Garowe fish market.[12]

In June 2014, the Puntland government launched a new tree-planting campaign in the state, with the regional Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism slated to plant 25,000 trees by the end of the year. Qardho is among the seven cities and towns earmarked for the reforestation initiative, which also include Garowe, Bosaso, Dhahar, Buuhoodle, Baran and Galkayo. The campaign is part of a broader partnership between the Puntland authorities and EU to set up various environmental protection measures in the region, with the aim of promoting reforestation and afforestation.[13]


Air transportation in Qardho is served by the Qardho Airport. In late September 2013, Puntland Deputy Minister of Civil Aviation Abdiqani Gelle announced that the authorities in Somalia's autonomous Puntland region would carry out major renovations at the airport, as well as at the Garowe International Airport in Garowe and the Abdullahi Yusuf International Airport in Galkayo. A tender process for a similar upgrade initiative was concurrently launched at the Bender Qassim International Airport in Bosaso.[14]

In October 2012, the Puntland Highway Authority (PHA) also began a major upgrade and repair project on the main road linking Qardho with Bosaso.[15]


  1. ^ Hodd, Michael (1994). East African Handbook. Trade & Travel Publications. p. 640. ISBN 0844289833. 
  2. ^ Hess, Robert L. (1966). Italian colonialism in Somalia. University of Chicago Press. p. 127. 
  3. ^ "Somalia City & Town Population". Tageo. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Regions, districts, and their populations: Somalia 2005 (draft)" (PDF). UNDP. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "Puntland - Primary schools". Ministry of Education of Puntland. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Puntland - Secondary schools". Ministry of Education of Puntland. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Somalia: Egypt offers scholarships to Federal Govt". Garowe Online. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  8. ^ East Somalia University
  9. ^ "A programme for improving governance, leadership and management capacity of the three health authorities in Somalia". Mannion Daniels Limited. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Somalia: Puntland leader launches prison in Qardo". Garowe Online. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "Gardo General Hospital". Rapidmicrobiology. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Somalia: New Fish Market opens in Garowe". Garowe Online. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Somalia: World Environment Day celebrated in Puntland, Govt calls for tree plantation". Garowe Online. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Somalia: 20 companies compete for Bossaso Airport runway bid". Garowe Online. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "Puntland to rehabilitate Bosaso-Qardo road". Sabahi. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012.