Berbera Seaport has a unique miracle gift. This miracle gift may be unknown to most of Somaliland’s people. Likewise Somaliland’s recent governments are still not aware of the value of this natural asset it owns. According to the seaport construction experts worldwide, building a new deep seaport, the investor whether a private company or a government is required to build an artificial offshore structure separate from the new deep seaport; protecting it from the strong sea water waves.
In the maritime terminology, this offshore protective construction is called the Breakwater basin of the constructing seaport. It is a hard marina basin protective structure constructed for the purpose of forming the harbour secured from the effect of the strong waves. Seaports Breakwater provides a safe berthing and shelter for the vessels and ships while on harbour anchorage. It reduces the intensity of wave action in inshore waters and thereby reduces coastal erosion or provides safe harbourage. Anchorage of ships to a seaport is not safe if the ships anchored there are not protected from the force of the powerful waves, by this large water barrier which they can shelter behind.
All maritime infrastructure experts all over the world agreed that the construction of the Breakwater Basin alone, takes up to 50% of the total cost of building a new deep seaport. At the same time the construction of a Breakwater basin is not optional, but compulsory for every deep seaport construction; except where a Natural Breakwater formed by headland or reefs exists, which is very rear in the world.
Fortunately, Berbera Seaport has a harbour area sheltered by a naturally constructed seaport Breakwater which was formed by headland; it is the area we call Raasiga Berbera. It is a narrow 4.5 kilometers long piece of land that projected from the coastline into the sea. Raasiga became the true Breakwater for Berbera deep seaport section constructed by USSR; and the construction of an artificial one was not needed. Likewise, it became the Breakwater for Berbera deep seaport section constructed by USA; and the construction of an artificial one was not needed. Though these sections were provided by the countries mentioned; this god’s gift natural Breakwater basin saved 50% of the actual costs to be funded for the construction of their respective sections.
But, if DP World is constructing the said 400 m long new extension section of Berbera Seaport; the 50% cost for constructing the port’s Breakwater will be save for the company, because it already naturally exists. The great mistake that Somaliland government made was that it underestimated the worth and value of its natural Breakwater it owns; neglecting its cost if constructed be added to its share. Likewise Somaliland neglected the costs of its resources like the new deep seaport site land, all natural sea water shallow filling materials (Rocks, sand, etc) which constitute 25 % of the seaport construction. If all these are considered during the cost evaluation of the existing port and its assets; really the value made would be doubled and the percentage of Somaliland’s share would not be less than 50%.
Raasiga can also cover to be the Breakwater basin for any number of new deep seaports needed to construct within the harbour area in the future. Raasiga also intercepts the long shore currents and tends to prevent the beach erosion and sea floods against the down town of Berbera city. This very dear in price and most valuable piece of land that God gave Somaliland was privatized and sold as plots by the previous government. That action was indicating the ignorance, the greed, the un-nationalistic ethics of that government‘s leaders.
Though I heard that President Bihi ordered the renationalization of the Raasiga; but recently when I visited the area, I saw that the foundations (seesaskii) constructed before the president’s degree are still there. And that is what caused me to talk again about the importance of Berbera Port’s unique miracle gift; urging Somaliland elites, the government, the two legislative houses, and the people in general to be aware with close observations and stand together to save Raasiga Berbera to be plotted again through power abuse, as happened before.
Adam Ali Younis.