Camels in Somalia

Camels in Somalia

Camel pastoralism has been the most highly way of life in Somalia and neither has it lost its value in modern Somalia. Somali pastoralists are a camel community mainly because of the dry and harsh environment they live in. This is also so because the pastoralists primarily derive their living from the management of livestock on rangelands. In no other community in the world is the camel very important in the local economy and culture as in the Somali community. The camel is an important livestock species uniquely adapted to hot and arid environments. It is prestigious to own a camel in Somalia. Somalia is believed to be the original home of the domesticated dromedary camel. The country has the highest camel population in the world.

Camel milk is the staple food of Somali pastoral communities, which rely on its direct consumption throughout the year as well as on its increasing relevance as an income generator. Traditionally camel milk was utilized for internal consumption or exchanged as a gift to establish and keep family ties and social support mechanisms.

Importance of camel keeping

Camels provide;

  • Milk. 60% of the milk consumed in Somalia is from camels.
  • Meat
  • Transport
  • Money when they are sold

Medicinal Value of Camel Milk

  • Regular consumption is said to help in optimal management of diabetes.
  • Camel milk helps in controlling high blood pressure.
  • The milk has anti-baterial and anti-viral qualities that assist the body to put diseases at bay.
  • Recovery of patients with infectious diseases like tuberculosis who consume camel milk is faster.
  • It has high levels of lanolin, which slows down aging by providing the skin with a smooth touch.
  • Compared to cow milk it has higher protein and lactose levels, it is richer in minerals and in vitamins (especially A, B and C complexes)