Land & Water

Somalia Water and Land Information Management

The Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) project was an information management unit serving Somali administrations, non-governmental organizations, development agencies and UN organisations engaged in assisting Somali communities whose lives depend directly on water and land resources.

One and a half decades of civil strife in Somalia have resulted in the loss or damage of most of the water- and land-related information collected in the previous half century. By producing baseline information, assessing natural resources, searching for existing information sources around the world, SWALIM recovered as much of this lost data as possible.

The project also re-established data collection networks in collaboration with partner agencies, which facilitated better assessment of rainfall, river flow, groundwater resources, land characteristics, degradation and land suitability as well as improving flood warning and flood management. Data and information were available to anyone working in related fields in Somalia, through its client service platform which included a website,, information resource centres in Nairobi and at liaison offices in Somalia with hardcopy and digital libraries, as well as information access terminals and the e-mail enquiries service, dealing with special requests.

Information was also distributed through CD-Roms, especially for clients with slow internet connections. To facilitate the eventual transfer of SWALIM’s function to Somali authorities, SWALIM worked with Somali Ministries and institutions to build their information management capacity.