Togdheer River

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Togdheer River
Native nameWebiga Togdheer (Somali)
CountriesFlag of Somaliland.svg  Somaliland
Physical characteristics
  location Golis Mountains
  coordinates 9°52′0″N44°55′0″E / 9.86667°N 44.91667°E / 9.86667; 44.91667
Nugaal Valley
8°27′42.41″N48°3′15.12″E / 8.4617806°N 48.0542000°E / 8.4617806; 48.0542000

The Togdheer River (Somali : Webiga Togdheer) is a seasonal river in the Togdheer region of northeastern Somaliland. The region is named after the river. [1] [2] [3] [4] The river's name comes from "Tog" (which means "riverbed" in the Somali language) and "dheer" (Somali for "long").

The Togdheer River rises in the foothills of the Golis Mountains, specifically the upper slope of the Ga'an Libah reserve, flows south through the city of Burao, where it splits the city in half, and then vanishes into the eastern plains of the Togdheer region and the northern part of Sool, where it provides winter sustenance to the arid Nugaal valley. [5] The riverbed is usually dry, but is subject to flooding when heavy rains fall in the mountains.


Explorer Frank Linsly James, a guest of Sultan Awad Deria during his visit to Somalia in 1884, describes a performance he witnessed by Habr Yunis Horsemen at the Togdheer River in Burao:

During our stay at Burao, the Sultan collected a great many of his people together, and twice entertained us with some well-executed and characteristic evolutions on horseback. On the first occasion some forty mounted men were collected in the Tug before our zariba; but this did not satisfy the Sultan, and he arranged a second "fan- tasia," in which fully two hundred warriors were engaged. It was the best and most characteristic thing of the kind I had ever seen. A procession was first formed in the river's bed, and on a given signal all dashed off, brandishing their spears and shields. Dressed in tobes of many colours, and sitting loosely on their gaily caparisoned horses, they engaged in mimic contest with spear and shield, reining their horses upon their haunches when at full gallop, and with wild shouts flinging their spears into the air. Each warrior carried a short-handled whip with a broad raw hide thong, and with it lashed his steed unmercifully. Some of the riders went through regular circus feats, leaping from their horses when at full gallop, picking up objects thrown on the ground, and then remount- ing. After this had continued for some time they would gallop close to our zariba, and reining up, shout "Mort, mort" ("Welcome, welcome"), to which we replied, "Kul liban" ("Thanks"). [6]

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  1. "Conflict Analysis of Fodder and Honey Value Chain Upgrading for Togdheer Region" (PDF). ILO. September 2011.
  2. Briggs, Philip (2012). Somaliland: With Addis Ababa & Eastern Ethiopia. Bradt Travel Guides.
  3. Tempra, Ombretta; Zeiske, Felix; O'Loghlen, Aisling (August 2009). Burao Profile - first steps towards strategic planning. UN Habitat. ISBN   978-92-113-1917-0 . Retrieved 2021-01-31 via Issuu.
  4. F.M., Muthusi; G., Mahamud; A., Abdalle; H.M, Gadain (October 2007). Rural Water Supply Assessment, Technical Report No-08 (PDF). FAO-SWALIM (Report). Nairobi, Kenya.
  5. "Ga'an Libah Reserve". Visit Horn of Africa. Retrieved 2021-01-31.
  6. The Unknown Horn of Africa: An Exploration From Berbera to the Leopard River, By Frank Linsly james, p.67