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Badhan, Sanaag

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view of East-side of the town, مشهد من الجانب الشرقي من المدينة
view of East-side of the town, مشهد من الجانب الشرقي من المدينة
Badhan is located in Somaliland
Location in Somaliland
Coordinates: 10°42′50″N 48°20′5″E / 10.71389°N 48.33472°E / 10.71389; 48.33472
country Somaliland
 • Total20,000
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)

Badhan (Somali: Badhan; Arabic: برن‎), also known as Baran is a town in the Sanaag region of Somalialand.[1]

History of Badhan

Overview of a residential area in Badhan, Maakhir, Somalia

Old Badhan is about 150 years old. The town used to be located in the settlement of Hubeera, which is now located in lowland. It was always in danger of flooding during the raining seasons. About 40 years ago, the town was re-located near a borewell called Badhan and it has assumed the name ever since. The area was first settled in the 14th century by Somali herdsmen from the Warsangali subclan of the Darod clan, as there was water available for their flocks.

Badhan is also famous for being the stage of battles between the Dervishes of Mohammed Abdullah Hassan and the Sultanate of Warsangeli. Hassan, the leader of Dervishes, ordered the construction of a new grand fort in the city. Nowadays, the fort is in need of restoration, as time has worn it down.

In July 2007, the district became the capital city of the autonomous Maakhir(Maakhir has rejoined Puntland since January 2009) region of Somalia. Since the start of the Somali civil war, the city has grown to include, among other things, a hospital, three secondary schools, as well as a university in the works since the Maakhir regional authorities was planning to open another University in Buraan, another city towards the East of Sanaag, however that has never happened. Badhan consists of five main neighbourhoods - golis, horseed, iftiin waaberi and geeldoora

Local government

Women Council members in Badhan district, Somalia

On 20 March 2011, a new council District Members and District commissioner,Mr Abdirizak Ahmed Isse and new deputy commissioner, Ms Zainab Abdi Mohamed, was elected on 20 March 2011, the election was observed by the local elders and Puntland interior minister, Abdullahi Ahmed Jama ‘Ilkajir’,[2] the members of the council districts includes 9 women[3] and therefore the District of Badhan became the first Somali district to elect this significant elected women council members. In 2006, the local clan elders have chosen Mr Ahmed Muse Suldan as the District Commissioner of Badhan but it has functioned with limited mandate as far as defining and enforcing city Ordinances and the legal responsibility of its members or sub-committee. This is bound to change, hopefully

The local Clan elders whom facilitated the current elected district members and district commissioner will served in partnership with Local Government and the community in all matters relating to disputes in trade, property, crime and land distribution.

Generally districts in Somalia, the DC positions used to be powerful in local affairs but this has declined since the civil war, therefore, the commissioner’s level of powers are limited in terms of the scope of his position given the current Somali political situation.


Scene of Alfurqan High School in Badhan

Since 1997, Badhan has experienced educational revolution, there are Three primary and Elementary schools in Badhan and Three high school and another one is to be opened soon probably by mid 2009 school year. There are also plans for building Technical College which will provide a much-needed training for both the local residents and high school graduates from other cities and towns of Sanaag Region in order to enhance their employability or the skills to generate income for themselves. Exclusively funded by the Minneapolis chapter of Maakhir diaspora, the current University dean, Dr. Abdirahman Hersi, is convinced that the school will proceed with two undergraduate programs: Education and Computer of Information Science. It will then expand into other essential programs like Health, Business and Finance later on.

Horn Relief has its main office in the city and it also runs, among other essential services, a Pastoralist Youth Leadership program for the local pastoralist community around the environs of Badhan City.

As of 2008, there are about 5 linguistic private schools which mostly teach Arabic and English. The most well-known language schools operating in Badhan are Lafoole English School and Tawakal English learning centre.

Maakhir University

Situated in Badhan, the Maakhir University was established in 2009 with the purpose of providing affordable higher education to residents of the province and elsewhere in the nation. According to the institution's website, Maakhir University offers undergraduate degrees with the ultimate goal of contributing to the development of Somali society.

In 2014, the government of Puntland signed an agreement in Dubai with a Kuwaiti company for the development of facilities at Maakhir University as well as the Garowe International Airport. The deal was valued at $10 million USD and was financed by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. Speaking at the ceremony held for the deal, Puntland Finance Minister Farah thanked Kuwait for helping Somalia stand on its feet again, adding that the flagship projects would boost the local economy and education sector.[4]

In 2017, Puntland debutted newly constructed Maakhir University.[5]

Primary to High School

  • Alfurqan Primary and Elementary School
  • Alnour Primary and Elementary School
  • tayo Primary and Elementary School
  • Sinai Primary and Elementary School
  • Alfurqan High School
  • Alnour High School
  • Badhan High School

Total number of students in Badhan stands at 2994, with the broader Badhan district boasting 5590 student. [6]

Post Secondary Institutions



Badhan-Laasqoray road

Local people in Badhan District use basic modes of transportation. Small percentage of the district residents own motor vehicles. Since Badhan lies in the centre of Sanaag Region, there are roads from Bosaso to Erigavo that goes through the city, also another road comes from Laasqoray and passes through the city to Laas-Anod in Sool Region, however, these roads are unpaved and travelers go through very harsh terrains.

The road that links Badhan to Laasqoray which locals called Geeldora Road is 95 km away. Approximately 60 km of the road traverses the hilly terrains that form Cal Madow Mountains. The existing road is an earth road which is in poor state and especially on the mountainous areas where traffic is ‘one way’. On the flat sections, the road crosses several dry river beds on the first few kilometers after Badhan and just before Laasqoray. The drainage structures / run-off water channels are either poorly formed or collapsed in most of the areas.

Condition of the Road

Main road in the city of Badhan

The road is on flat terrain for the first 10 km coming from Badhan though it meanders quite a bit probably brought about by traffic trying to run on the smoothest possible surface. There are no specific obstacles that could be said to cause the wavy traffic movement.

After the 50th kilometer,From Badhan, the terrain is mostly downhill. One noticeable feature is that there is an increasingly large number of turns that are much tighter when going downhill compared to the general uphill section from Km 19 to Km 50 when coming from Badhan. Again, cut slope angles need to be improved throughout the section.

The downhill terrain continues until Km 72.5 from Badhan where the terrain is flat and with loose stones on approaching a dry river bed at Km 73, the upstream edge of the road at that section had some protective gabions which built by the former Somali government. When leaving the river bed, the approach going up was noted to be narrow. Between Km 77.2 and Km 77.3, again coming from Badhan, the road crosses 3 other river beds. From the last dry river bed crossing on that section, the road route runs almost parallel to the river all the way to Laasqoray. The terrain thereon to Laasqoray is flat.


Landing strip in Badhan

Badhan has a landing strip which used to serve as a major airport during the 1980s for oil companies that were exploring oil deposits in the area, However, of the post-government collapse, regular and scheduled flights in or out of Badhan have diminished to a great extent. The nearest airport or landing strip is in Laasqoray. Erigavo airport is also used for Badhan destination. Just after the civil war started in Somalia the UNDP chartered flights used to land the unpaved airstrip on the Southeast of the city which was carrying Warsangeli refugees from Southern Somalia .

The airstrip is located within the centre of the city and runs on the South-eastern bound. It is 2 km long and 65m wide. The grade along the runway rises evenly at approximately 3% and slopes across the runway towards the right at approximately 1.5%. There is a storage / parking / re-fuelling area midway along the runway but no buildings / offices. The airstrip has no storm drain system and most of the edge marker stones are either covered with grass or missing.

The runway wearing course is made of in-situ gravel material. Most of the runway surface is covered in silt and overgrown with grass. The underlying rock layer has been exposed on approximately 20% of the entire runway surface. The landing strip was the hub for UN and operations during 1993-1996 but had fallen into despair since then, however local NGOs are planning to renovate and rebuild it.

Conditions of the Airport

Uniquely designed house in Badhan

Since the runway has not been used for nearly 13 years ago. Lack of use and maintenance has led to grass growing all over the runway and generally the airstrip location. The lack of a storm drainage system on either side of the runway has led surface water to form rills / gulleys on the edges of the runway. There are a few edge markers made of well placed stones but those have been covered by the grass overgrowth. The airstrip was constructed by stripping the ground of grass and overburden material and compacting the surface. There are also two access roads that cut across the airstrip leading to dwellings.


Overview of Qudloho neighbourhoods in Badhan

Within the airstrip locality, there are no borrow pits nearby only sites where the locals ‘harvest’ stones and sand for building purposes. Water is readily available,a grader and roller are the only machines that will be required to rehabilitate the airstrip.

With no borrow pits near-by, the best approach to rehabilitating the airstrip would be to strip the runway surface of grass and silt, scarify 100–150 mm, shape and compact the surface. A side drain should be excavated for on the LHS with scour checks provided at 50m intervals while mitre drains should be provided on the RHS at 100m intervals. The water mains cutting across the runway should be protected; by providing a plastic (PVC) sleeve and haunching (surround) the sleeve with concrete. The PVC pipe size should be reasonable enough so as to act as a service duct for further use in future.

Edge markers should also be provided on both edges of the runway. Well arranged stones should be placed at 10 m intervals and painted red every 50 m. The access roads should also be diverted to a single service road on either side of the runway / airstrip area to avoid vehicular traffic going across the airstrip. At some point, an office building will be required at the very least to house communication equipment and maintain records.

Public services

Badhan has the largest hospital in Sanaag region, built by the Diaspora of the Region, sadly the hospital is closed since February 2009 due lack of funding and now the local community is left to face the daunting task of taking their sick to Bosaso in Bari region. The hospital used to offer all the basic medical needs and it has a Maternity ward but that now is closed too. The local MCH is serving the locals and the city has also many pharmacies which offer first aid and other light medical attention.

Business in Badhan

Overview of a new hotel in Badhan

Badhan is a city that is experiencing a period of rapid growth. Similar to any other small town in Somalia, it used to count a population of less than 5,000 residents. However, in the wake of the Somali civil war, Somalis from various different clans who had been victimized in other unsafe parts in Somalia started migrating safe areas of the country including Sanaag region.

Badhan, being a save haven for many Somalis, subsequently ballooned in size from a city to a population of over 20,000 and counting.

Some small scale business ventures started flourishing, mainly because the location of the city in the middle of Sanaag region and growing local inhabitant, business such as small market for fresh milk, meat and locally produced vegetables have become commonly available in the town. as well in badhan city its also based Construction and contractor Business of Sanaag Construction Company the and participating the rebuilding and growth of the countries developments.

New hotel with three floors opened its door in 2009,built by local businessman who is from Cardiff, in Wales, UK.

Entertainment in Badhan

Badhan has green mountains on the west side popularly known as the Cal Madow towards the city of Laasqoray, while the sea with white beaches, crystal clear water, and a kaleidoscopic reef, is situated just across the mountains of Laasqoray. In the city there are many activities one can do while on vacation like visit coffee shops where khat is consumed, or drop in on an Internet café. There are also many hotels and guest houses.

The best period to visit this city is during September–May during the rain season as the heat in the summer is unbearable for outsiders. On the outskirts of the city are rock mountains, grassland with wildlife and unique trees—a panoramic view.


Badhan has a modern telephone system which most residents in the town is able to utilize, the Local Communication company is called Golis Telecom, a subsidiary of Golis Telesom, based in Bosaso. Landline telephone system and mobile with some access to the Internet are very common in Badhan cafes.



Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm


  1. ^ "Badhan, Somalia - Geographical Names, map, geographic coordinates". Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "2011/2 Primary School Census Statistics Yearbook" (PDF).

External links

Coordinates: 10°42′50″N 048°20′05″E / 10.71389°N 48.33472°E / 10.71389; 48.33472