Past Cities

Baardheere, Gedo, Somalia

Loading map...

Baardheere is a historic city located in the Gedo region of Somalia. It is situated in the southwestern part of the country, near the border with Ethiopia and Kenya. Baardheere has a rich and diverse history that spans several centuries, influenced by its political environment and geographical significance.

Baardheere, also known as Bardera, is home to a population of approximately 60,000 people. The inhabitants of Baardheere are predominantly from the Marehan clan, one of the major Somali clans, with sub-clans such as the Rer Suleiman and Rer Hassan. They primarily engage in agriculture, livestock rearing, and trade, contributing to the city's economic sustenance.

The history of Baardheere can be traced back to ancient times. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was inhabited as early as the 1st century CE. The region has witnessed the rise and fall of various empires and kingdoms, leaving their imprints on the city's cultural fabric. Baardheere was an important center along the historical trade routes, connecting the interior of Africa with coastal areas.

During the medieval period, Baardheere was part of the Ajuran Sultanate, a powerful Somali empire that flourished from the 13th to the 17th century. The Ajuran Sultanate had a centralized administration and controlled a vast territory, including trade networks along the Indian Ocean coast. Baardheere thrived under the Ajuran rule, benefitting from the flourishing trade and cultural exchange that took place during this time.

In the late 19th century, Baardheere came under the influence of European colonial powers. The city was part of Italian Somaliland and later fell under British control. This colonial era had a profound impact on the political and social dynamics of Baardheere. The colonial powers imposed their governance systems and reshaped the economic landscape, primarily for their own interests.

Following Somalia's independence in 1960, Baardheere became an integral part of the newly formed Somali Republic. However, the post-independence era was marked by political instability and power struggles that affected the city's development. Baardheere, like many other parts of the country, experienced intermittent conflict and governance challenges, which hindered its progress.

The civil war that erupted in Somalia in the late 20th century further exacerbated the situation in Baardheere. The city witnessed a significant influx of internally displaced people seeking refuge from violence and famine. This influx strained the city's resources and infrastructure, creating additional challenges for the local population.

Moreover, the geography of Baardheere played a crucial role in shaping its history. The city is located in a fertile agricultural region, with the Jubba River flowing nearby. The river serves as a lifeline for the local farmers, providing water for irrigation and supporting the cultivation of crops such as maize, sorghum, and fruits. The fertile land surrounding Baardheere has been instrumental in sustaining the livelihoods of its inhabitants throughout history.

However, the geographical location of Baardheere also made it vulnerable to environmental challenges. The city has experienced periodic droughts, affecting agricultural productivity and exacerbating food insecurity in the region. Climate change has further intensified these challenges, leading to recurrent droughts and floods that disrupt the lives of the people of Baardheere.