Growing up as a young person in Central Florida, tropical weather was something that I and those around me paid attention to regularly. In my own life and personal experience hurricanes have had an effect on my life and have been part of the context of my own existence and the choices I have made. At this moment, in fact, there is a subtropical storm that is very early (alarmingly so) that is making its course towards the panhandle of Florida as I write this. For me at least, it is fairly easy to have a great deal of concern for friends and loved ones who are often in harm’s way simply because they happen to live in areas where they are at risk to dangers caused by tropical weather. At times this weather comes with winds that rip of the roofs of one’s neighbors or knock out one’s power supply for extended periods of time. At other times the storms linger over the area and dump water in such quantities that roads are flooded and storm surges break over the levees that try to protect people from such harm. At other times storms damage infrastructure to such an extent that one’s travel plans are diverted from damaged airports or where instead of a pleasant docking, one’s cruise ship has to disgorge its passengers into Mexican boat taxis, and so on.
It has been some time since I have written a Somaliland Update . In large part this is due to the fact that the main source of information I had about how things were going on in Somaliland became much less easily accessible to me than it had been in the early days of my writing this blog. Nevertheless, as I found some twitter handles that provided links to news stories relating to Somaliland, I will hopefully be able to write more articles in the future and convey something of life in this neglected and often forgotten part of the world to my readers in the future. In that light, I would like to comment on the recovery efforts from a recent cyclone that affected Somaliland rather deeply, occurring during a period of great drought, but not providing the sort of rain that would best serve the well-being of the people of the area.
The seriousness of Cyclone Sagar can be told through a view vignettes. In one story, we see that the president of Somaliland has sought to encourage and help the survivors of the cyclone, including one young man who lost both of his parents and six siblings due to the cyclone. Another vignette demonstrates the seriousness of the effort at providing for food for those who have been affected by the storm, as with help from Dubai Air Somaliland was able to provide 30,000 boxes of dates and almost 18,000 food baskets to the affected population in Cabdi Geeddi, Gargaara, Bullaxaar, Tuurka, Ceel-sheekh and Geeris. In addition to food, there has been an effort to provide shelter as well as hygiene kits and clothing to affected populations as well. It remains unclear the extent to which this has averted a humanitarian crisis, as can sometimes happen when storms overwhelm the local infrastructure, but it does appear at least that Somaliland’s actions are timely and appreciated by the affected population, and it is unclear what a small nation can do to prevent itself from being affected by the ravages of tropical weather entirely.
What would help Somaliland recover quicker from disasters like this in the future? In my mind, the biggest way for Somaliland to recover quicker is for Somaliland to be better integrated with the outside world. It was Somaliland’s lack of effective integration with Somalia over the course of its time as part of that troubled republic that was responsible in large part for Somaliland’s general isolation as a whole, since the international community has neither been able to help the greater unity of the Somali people nor to recognize the different parts of the nations of the Somalis as independent and then integrate them into the larger world. Let us make no mistake. Somaliland wants to be a part of the world as a whole. It obeys global democratic norms, has sought to have a constructive role in dealing with the piracy crisis of the region and has sought free and fair trade with other nations around the world. And yet Somaliland is an obscure region where it is not even known by many that it was once an independent nation and should have been a recognized nation now for decades. A Somaliland that is no longer marginal but is a fully recognized part of the international community is the best way the area has for being able to recover from disasters because that would allow it to have its own resources and also be known and regarded by the rest of the world and receive the attention to its problems that would encourage more timely and effective aid where it is necessary.
 See, for example: