Somalia - Infrastructure, power, and communications

Somalia has a deteriorating infrastructure that has seen little improvement in the last decade. One paved road extends from Berbera in north through Mogadishu to Kismaayo. Roads of all categories totalled 22,100 kilometers (13,733 miles) in 1996, of which 2,608 (1,621 miles) kilometers were paved. Many of the improved earth roads were frequently impassable in rainy seasons. Highway infrastructure is insufficient to open up isolated areas or to link the regions. The country has no railroads.

Somalia has 8 paved civilian airfields and fewer than 20 additional widely-scattered gravel airfields. The international airport is at Mogadishu. In 1990 a domestic service linked Mogadishu with 7 other Somali cities

Country Telephones a Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a Radio Stations b Radios a TV Stations a Televisions a Internet Service Providers c Internet Users c
Somalia N/A N/A AM 0; FM 0;shortwave 4 470,000 1 135,000 1 200
United States 194 M 69.209 M (1998) AM 4,762; FM 5,542;shortwave 18 575 M 1,500 219 M 7,800 148 M
Dem. Rep. of Congo 21,000 8,900 AM 3; FM 12;shortwave 1 (1999) 18.03 M 20 (1999) 6.478 M 2 1,500 (1999)
Ethiopia 157,000 4,000 (1999) AM 5; FM 0;shortwave 2 (1999) 11.75 M 25 (1999) 320,000 1 7,200
a Data is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.
b Data is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.
c Data is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].

served, in part, by Somali Airlines, which owned 1 Airbus 310 in 1989. There was no scheduled service in existence in 1992.

Electricity is produced entirely from diesel and petrol powered generators, with all the fuel imported. In 1998, it was estimated that 265 million kilowatt hours (kWh) were supplied, all from privately-owned generators. There is some hydroelectric potential on Somalia's rivers, but thus far it has remained unexploited and is likely to remain so until Somalia's security and stability become better established. Poor people, and most of the population outside the towns, rely on wood for cooking and kerosene oil-lamps for light.

There are 4 major ports—deepwater facilities at Berbera, Mogadishu, and Kismaayo and a lighterage (for transportation of goods on flat-bottomed barges) port at Marka—and a minor port at Maydh. A port modernization program that was launched in the latter half of 1980s with U.S. aid significantly improved cargo handling capabilities at Kismaayo and increased the number of berths and deepened the harbor at Berbera.

The public telecommunications system was completely destroyed or dismantled by the civil war factions; all relief organizations depend on their own private systems. Recently, local cellular telephone systems have been established in Mogadishu and in several other population centers. International connections are available from Mogadishu by satellite.

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