Shebelle River
   HOME

TheInfoList



The Shebelle River ( so, Webi Shabeelle, ar, نهر شبيلي, am, እደላ) begins in the
highlands Highlands or uplands are any mountainous region or elevated mountainous plateau. Generally speaking, upland (or uplands) refers to ranges of hills, typically up to . Highland (or highlands) is usually reserved for ranges of low mountains. Highland ...
of
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea and Djibouti to the north, Somaliland to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south ...

Ethiopia
, and then flows southeast into
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
towards
Mogadishu Mogadishu (, also ; so, Muqdisho or Xamar ; ar, مقديشو, Muqadīshū ; it, Mogadiscio ), locally known as Xamar or Hamar, is the capital city and most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city ...

Mogadishu
. Near Mogadishu, it turns sharply southwest, where it follows the coast. Below Mogadishu, the river becomes seasonal. During most years, the river dries up near the mouth of the
Jubba River The Jubba River or Juba River ( so, Wabiga Jubba, it, Giuba) is a river in southern Somalia which flows through the autonomous region of Jubaland. It begins at the border with Ethiopia, where the Dawa River, Dawa and Ganale Dorya River, Ganale Do ...
, while in seasons of heavy rainfall, the river actually reaches the Jubba and thus the Somali Sea. The Shebelle river's name is derived from the Somali term ''Webi Shabeelle'', meaning "Leopard River". The Somali administrative regions consisting of
Middle Shebelle Middle Shabelle ( so, Shabeellaha Dhexe, ar, شبيلي الوسطى, it, Medio Scebeli) is an administrative region ('' gobol'') in southern Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somal ...
and
Lower Shabeelle Lower Shabelle ( so, Shabeellaha Hoose, ar, شبيلي السفلى, it, Basso Scebeli) is an administrative region (''Administrative divisions of Somalia, gobol'') in southern Somalia. Overview It is bordered by the Somali regions of Banaadir ...
are also named after the river.


Tributaries

The Shebelle has a number of
tributaries A tributary or affluent is a stream or river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its ...
, both seasonal and permanent rivers. They include: *
Erer River The Erer is a perennial river of eastern Ethiopia. It rises near the city of Harar, and flows in a primarily southern direction to its confluence with the Shabelle River, Shabelle at . See also

* Rivers of Ethiopia Shebelle River Rivers of ...
* Galetti River * Wabe River (Arsi), Wabe River The Fafen River, Fafen only reaches the Shebelle in times of heavy rainfall; its stream usually ends before reaching the main river.


History


Ajuran Empire

The Shebelle River has a rich history of a once-booming sophisticated civilization and trade network conducted by the powerful Somalis that held sway over the Shebelle river. During the middle ages, Shebelle river was under the Ajuran Empire of the Horn of Africa which utilized the Shebelle River for its plantations and was the only hydraulic empire in Africa. A hydraulic empire that rose in the 13th century AD, Ajuran monopolized the water resources of the Jubba River, Jubba and Shebelle Rivers. Through hydraulic engineering, it also constructed many of the limestone Water well, wells and cisterns of the state that are still operative and in use today. Its rulers developed new systems for agriculture and taxation, which continued to be used in parts of the Horn of Africa as late as the 19th century. Through their control of the region's wells, the Garen rulers effectively held a monopoly over their nomadic subjects as they were the only hydraulic empire in Africa during their reign. Large wells made out of limestone were constructed throughout the state, which attracted Somali people, Somali and Oromo people, Oromo nomads with their livestock. The centralized regulations of the wells made it easier for the nomads to settle disputes by taking their queries to government officials who would act as mediators. Long-distance caravan trade, a long-time practice in the Horn of Africa, continued unchanged in Ajuran times. Today, numerous ruined and abandoned towns throughout the interior of Somalia and the Horn of Africa are evidence of a once-booming inland trade network dating from the medieval period. With the centralized supervision of the Ajuran, farms in Afgooye, Bardhere and other areas in the Jubba River, Jubba and Shabelle valleys increased their productivity. A system of irrigation ditches known locally as ''Kelliyo'' fed directly from the Shebelle River and Jubba rivers into the plantations where sorghum, maize, beans, grain and cotton were grown during the ''gu'' (Spring (season), Spring in Somali) and ''xagaa'' (Summer in Somali) seasons of the Somali calendar. This irrigation system was supported by numerous Levee, dikes and dams. To determine the average size of a farm, a land measurement system was also invented with ''moos'', ''taraab'' and ''guldeed'' being the terms used. The urban centers of
Mogadishu Mogadishu (, also ; so, Muqdisho or Xamar ; ar, مقديشو, Muqadīshū ; it, Mogadiscio ), locally known as Xamar or Hamar, is the capital city and most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city ...

Mogadishu
, Merca, Barawa, Kismayo and Hobyo and other respective ports became profitable trade outlets for commodities originating from the interior of the State. The Somalis, Somali farming communities of the hinterland from Jubba River, Jubba and Shebella valleys brought their crops to the Somalis, Somali coastal cities, where they were sold to local merchants who maintained a lucrative foreign commerce with ships sailing to and coming from Arabia, Persia, India, Venetian Republic, Venice, Egypt, Portugal, and as far away as Java and China.


Modern period

The source of the Shebelle River is cultivated by the Arsi Oromo, Sidama people, Sidamo and mostly Somalis, respectively. It is surrounded by a sacred enclosure wooded with juniper trees, which as of 1951 was under the protection of a Muslim member of the Arsi. In 1989, with the help of Soviet Union, Soviet engineers, the Melka Wakena Hydroelectric Power Station, Melka Wakena dam was built on the upper reaches of the Shebelle River in the Bale Mountains. Producing 153 megawatts, this dam is Ethiopia’s largest hydroelectric generator. The recent history of the Shabelle is marked by frequent destructive Somali Flash Floods, flash floods. The Shabelle is said to have flooded every other year prior to the 1960s; that decade had only two devastating floods, the ''hidigsayley'' in 1965, and the ''soogudud'' in 1966. In the 1970s, the most devastating flood was the ''kabahay'' of 1978.Ayele Gebre-Mariam
''The Critical Issue of Land Ownership''
Working Paper No. 2 (Bern: NCCR North-South, 2005), pp. 35f (accessed 19 January 2009)
In 1996, floods devastated three Districts of Ethiopia, woredas in Ethiopia. On 23 October 1999, the river unexpectedly flooded in the middle of the night, destroying homes and crops in 14 out of the 117 kebeles in Kelafo (woreda), Kelafo woreda, as well as 29 of the 46 kebeles in neighboring Mustahil (woreda), Mustahil woreda. According to the local authorities, 34 people and an estimated 750 livestock died, with 70,000 affected by the floods and in need of assistance."Drought and Floods: Stress Livelihoods and Food Security in the Ethiopian Somali Region"
UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia report, dated November 1999 (accessed 28 December 2008) Two more recent floods were the ''dawdle'' in 2003, when about 100 livestock and 119 people were washed away, and the flood of April 2005, when about 30,000 persons were surrounded by floodwaters and 2000 camels and 4000 shoats were washed away by the floods; some locals consider this the worst flood in 40 years. Image:Shabeelle NASA.jpg, Satellite pictures showing the Shebelle valley in southern
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
and
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea and Djibouti to the north, Somaliland to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south ...

Ethiopia
before and during floods in 2005 Image:Irrigation along the Shebelle River.JPG, Astronaut photograph showing irrigation along the river


See also

*Geography of Ethiopia *Geography of Somalia *List of rivers of Ethiopia


Notes


External links


ReliefWeb: Somalia Integrated Phase Classification Maps (as of Sep 2008)Bale Mountains National Park
{{Authority control Shebelle River, Rivers of Ethiopia Rivers of Somalia International rivers of Africa Bale Mountains Ethiopian Highlands Jubba River