Written by: Samatar Abdikadir Gahnug

Recently Somaliland has been improving economically due to enormous factors including the return of Somaliland diaspora back to the country with many little investments, many people living in the country have been gradually adopting the business sector by creating small and medium enterprises, funds from international donors through non-governmental organisations and the escalating government budget has induced further momentum to the economy of Somaliland.

However, these advancements on the macroeconomic level of the country is not decentralized to low income people in the country, on the contrary  the situation of poor people is getting worse and worse.

High unemployment rate, rising inflation, unfair distribution of wealth, lack of government support/subsidy to the poor/low income families, lack of government rehabilitation plan for internally displaced people, limited income generating activities, heavy recurrent droughts are the main causal factors that can be attributed to the hard circumstances lived by the poor people in Somaliland.

There are considerable number of poor families who live in a very desperate situation. Many of them get food only one time in the day and night, live in very poor shelters made up clothes and plastic bags with unhygienic conditions, internally displaced people are increasing year after year, malnourished children and adults are getting prevalent in both urban and nomadic areas of the county. They also have very limited access to all public services like; education, health, water, security etc. in addition to these, the government take taxes from the low income families, like mothers who sit under the hot sun by the streets with small vegetables or other commodities to sell it and earn the daily life of their children who many of them are orphaned by the struggle for Somaliland independence.

In contrast, small portion of the society are enriching upon the cost of others. Large comfortable houses were built, luxurious vehicles were bought by those high income and minority of the population. They send their children to expensive and quality schools/universities in the country or some may send their children to overseas countries for education. They find good health and security services with their money.  This rich class don’t care about the living standards of the rest of people who are in underprivileged conditions. They even don’t aware of the situation of their near neighbours.

After all, if this problem of high income inequality is not taken into account and solved, it will result in dangerous consequences that can in turn hinder the security and wellbeing of the country in general. This problem might bring internal community eruptions, demonstrations, crimes like robbery and theft and can damage security of the country.

In conclusion, preventive measures are needed to be taken to solve this destructive issue of income inequality. Public debates and discussions on reducing income inequality should be arranged and organised by the government to issue solving action points. Striving for income equality or equal distribution of wealth among the community is one of the essential foundation stones for achieving sustainable development in the country.

Written by: Samatar Abdikadir Gahnug

E-mail: gahnug2@gmail.com

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