British Somalia Overview
English colony located in the northern part of the Somali Peninsula on the Gulf of Aden, and limited to E., SE., Somalia and SW. from Italian East Africa (governments of Somalia and Harar), to the West from the French Somali Coast or French Somalia. The coast belonging to the colony runs for about 640 km. from El Ayo near Bender Ziada to the wells of Loyi Hada, near Djibouti; in the interior, the colony extends for a depth of 340 and 120 sq km. with an area of approximately 176,000 sq. km.
Physical Description. – According to collegesanduniversitiesinusa, the territory can be divided into three morphologically and altimetrically distinct zones: the coastal strip, the very rugged region that constitutes the northern front of the plateau as a whole, and the internal platform. The coastal strip, called Guban, is anything but regular: geologically it consists of layers of ancient, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Tertiary crystalline rocks, broken by systems of fractures in numerous blocks, partly submerged in floods and sands, partly emerging in the form of hilly chains, of which in the hinterland of Berbera we can distinguish especially three series more or less parallel to the sea; that of Dubar, external, that of Bihin and Dagah Shabell median, and that of Daimoleh internal. To the west of Berbera the ascent from the coast to the heights, which are only the eastern offshoots of the plateaus of Giggiga and Harar, it is sweeter, in bands; to the east, however, between Hais and the eastern border, the escarpment is very close to the sea and the Ahl Sangheli mountains that constitute it, at times, for example towards Lasgorè, fall almost vertically on the coast. The escarpment, except in the western edge, is steep and high everywhere: behind Berbera it forms the Golis Mountains, crowned by Cretaceous sandstones and Eocene limestone, and dressed up in forest (M. Fodier, m. 1952; M. Gan Libah, d. 1707). Analogous are the groups of Uagar (d. 1998) and Negegr (d. 1565); the Ahl Sangheli Mountains culminate near Mahet with Mt Surur Ad (2408 m), but the chain extends to the east in the Ahl Medò Mountains, always higher than 1500 m, up to the border.
To the Somalia of this ridge the plateau, calcareous and chalky, declines monotonously in the Haud region, which is partly British, partly Italian. The Haud takes its name from a Somali word, which would mean thorny scrub, and is in fact covered for large sections by this plant formation; at times, on the other hand, it is covered with grasslands and in part almost naked and semi-desert. On the southern side of the Ahl Sangheli are the relatively fertile regions of Ghebi and Gid Ali: the first is a valley that descends with its tributaries towards the Darror, the other, the Gid Ali, is one of the many tributaries of the Tug Derr or high Nogal. The Tug Derr has its origins on the southern slope of the Golis and with its tributaries as tributaries as the Ghebi are rushing streams during the rains,
In these driest parts, the thin shrubs of aromas cling to the cliffs, especially incense.
The average rainfall in Berbera is about 200 mm., Distributed in a few days, often concentrated in rare violent showers, especially in spring, between February and May. The absolute maximum observed there in 1927 was 47 °, 8. In Scec, which is located in the Golis, at about 1500 m., More than 500 mm fall. of rain, especially from April to November. On the Guban, very violent and very hot night winds often blow from the crests of the plateau.
Population and urban centers. – The population of British Somalia is made up of Somalis of the Isāq and Darod groups, among which the most important are, in the W and SW area. of Berbera, the Habar Yūnis and the Habar Auwal, whose name would be linked to that of Aualites sinus, given by the ancients to the Gulf of Tagiura; in the hinterland to Somalia and SE. the Haber Garḥagis and Haber Tolgia‛le live in the city; on the plateaus of Haud and Sol i Dulbahana (Ḍūlbahanta), finally the Warsangheli nomadise in the eastern part of the colony.
The main inhabited centers are on the coast: Berbera, the capital, which is the main port of the colony, exhausting about 58% of the total traffic. About 70 km. west of Berbera is the Bulhar bay. From Zeila on the W coast near the French border, two caravans leave for Harar: the one in the north, for Bio Caboba and Gildessa, was often beaten by the first explorers; the other, southern, now transformed into a rolling stock, for Buramo and Giggiga, is an important artery of Harar’s trade. To the east of Berbera on the coast are: Ancor, Hais, Mahet, Lasgorè, all small stopovers more or less suitable for anchoring elders that make na. operation of cabotage along the coast and with the neighboring ports of Arabia. Inside, Ergheisa (d. 1338) is of some interest, also called by the Arabs Harar es Seghir (the little Harar) caravan center towards Ogadēn and Uebi Scebeli, and also from Berbera to Giggiga and al Harar; Scec, Burao, Bohotle are also centers distributed on a second easternmost caravan, which goes down the Haud to Gherlogubi and Gorrahei in Ogadēn and from here to Uebi. Taleh (d. 609) in Nogal was an important center of the Mullah during his rebellion: the garesa and the masonry tombs he built were bombed with airplanes and destroyed by the English in the 1920 campaign and the place was completely abandoned. which by the Haud goes down to Gherlogubi and Gorrahei in Ogadēn and from here to Uebi. Taleh (d. 609) in Nogal was an important center of the Mullah during his rebellion: the garesa and the masonry tombs he built were bombed with airplanes and destroyed by the English in the 1920 campaign and the place was completely abandoned. which by the Haud goes down to Gherlogubi and Gorrahei in Ogadēn and from here to Uebi. Taleh (d. 609) in Nogal was an important center of the Mullah during his rebellion: the garesa and the masonry tombs he built were bombed with airplanes and destroyed by the English in the 1920 campaign and the place was completely abandoned.
The population of British Somalia is about 344,700. (1932), of which about 50,000 in the coastal centers, in addition to 1519 Arabs, 466 miscellaneous Indians and 60 Europeans.
Economic Conditions. – The only indigenous industries, besides the breeding of livestock, are the work in vegetable fibers and the collection of rubber, myrrh and frankincense, which are exported to Aden and India. On the coast between Zeila and Berbera, mother-of-pearl shells are fished: shark fishing, practiced by the Arabs, is also very profitable. From British Somalia, in addition to resins, mats, skins, cattle, ghee (indigenous butter), mother-of-pearl and even coffee are exported; as well as ivory and gold from Ethiopia; cotton fabrics, rice, dates, sugar are imported instead.
In 1934 the value of imports was £ 316,450, that of exports £ 193,026. There are no mineral deposits in exploitation: in the pegmatites there are reported deposits of pale biotite mica at Scec and Mandera, muscovite with beryl and granites at Lafferug; in the crystalline schists, philoncelli and sporadic concentrations of galena argentifera are observed near Lasgorè. There would also be traces of gold. Coal and lignite are found in the Cretaceous and Eocene sandstones near Ancor and in the hinterland of Berbera. Favorably suspected tertiary sands as petroleum are found at Dagah Shabell: the parent rock would be an underlying Jurassic shale. Finally some coastal islets, and particularly that of Mahet near Hais, contain deposits of guano, and in Zeila there are salt pans.