Village Mapping Study

Northwest Agro-pastoral Zone of Maroodi Jex Region, Somaliland 


The Pharo Foundation’s mission is to facilitate economic independence of African people through the promotion of sustainable livelihoods and job creation in Africa. As part of our five-year strategy (2016-20), we chose to start developing our first batch of programmes that increase income and sustainably improve livelihoods in Somaliland and Ethiopia.

The Foundation’s philosophy is to base our programming on evidence and learning.  Being relatively new to Somaliland, we wanted to base our first direct programming intervention where we had the best chances of achieving our mandate of economic empowerment through agriculture and water. We wanted to make that decision on the best evidence available.

Northwest Agro-Pastoral Zone

Having been guided to the agro-pastoral part of Maroodi Jex through consultation with the Government, we had to target an optimal number of households whom we can support to achieve a lasting and positive improvement in their income and livelihoods. We wanted to carry out the selection process as objectively as possible.

As a first step, we learnt that there are seven districts that fully or partially fall within this zone – Adaadley, Alaybaday, Arabsiyo, Faraweyne, Gabiley, Laas-geel, and Wajaale. We also learnt that there are 110 villages in these seven districts.

Mapping Study

In order to assess and compare the status of the 110 villages in the area and also to contribute to the development of Somaliland in general, we decided to invest in a mapping study which would help us to:

  • Select the most appropriate villages through a rigorous and systematic review and comparison using certain selection criteria (Objective 1); and
  • Contribute to the information pool for both Government planners and other actors interested in development programming (Objective 2).

These two objectives have now been met and we are happy to share the outputs and the data.

For Objective 1, we have finally selected in agreement with the Government, four adjacent villages in Gabiley District in which to site our first programme intervention – Botor, Gobka Daarimo, Illinta and Ilma Daddo.  Although this is for our programme development purpose, for those who may be interested, details of how we designed and executed the research study and arrived at this decision is set out in the research report entitled, Maroodi Jex Mapping Study Final Report, see here.

For Objective 2, we have the following outputs.

A data set on each of the villages that we managed to survey in MS-Excel format here showing information on:

  • Overall village information – GIS coordinates, household numbers and governance position
  • Education – GIS coordinates of schools in the villages (care of the Ministry of Education) and the status of education provision
  • Health – GIS coordinates of health facilities in the villages (care of the Ministry of Health) and the status of health provision
  • Livelihoods – main village livelihood activities and income sources, the types of crops grown and livestock kept, the types of support services provided and the use of livestock and products
  • Updated information on all dams and boreholes in the villages following where possible the SWALIM 2009 study
  • An assessment of new potential areas to construct large water dams.

There is also a three-page report on each of these villages which provides the reader with a quick overview on the village as described by our selection criteria.  Briefly these were: potential to increase water; potential to grow livelihoods; population and settlement types; accessibility; governance; interest in engaging with a development initiative; and health and educational needs. Sample reports can be accessed here and the reports on all villages are available upon request.

Finally, some of this data was transferred to a Google Pro map so one can visually see the location of each of the 110 villages, the location of schools and health facilities and water points.  A hover over function allows you to see some of the basic village data described in the data set.   Using the classifications set by our selection exercise, the user is able to make their own assessment of where there may be need in terms of educational or health support, or opportunities to support water development.  In order to download the map you will require Google Earth Pro, please download it onto your computer here. The map is available here and further information on how to use the map is set out here .

Contact Details

If you are a development actor currently working or planning to start a programme in Somaliland, then we would be happy to talk to you and to provide you with the additional materials that are not linked here.  Please be in touch with our Somaliland Country Representative, Ms Nura Magan on