Mogadishu is the capital city of Somalia, as well as, most populous city in the country. Although no official census has been carried out in Mogadishu following the collapse of the formal state, the GeoNames geographical database estimated the population of Mogadishu in 2007 to be two Million five hundred eighty-seven one hundred and eighty – three (2, 587,183) persons. Intensified armed conflict between the TFG and Armed Opposition Groups (AOG) in recent years and prolonged drought in Mogadishu and other parts of Somaliaand the resultant major population movements reported within and from Mogadishu may have affected the actual population as it may stand today. It is unlikely though that the changes could be significant. It can safely be assumed that the population of Mogadishu today still stands at two Million (2,000,000) persons with a significant portion of these living as Internally Displaced Persons.
Since the civil war in 1991,Mogadishu has endured relentless violence and destruction leading to a profound sense of fear and hopelessness among the majority of the Residents. The conflict has lowered the premium of life, to a large extent eroded the moral fabric of the population and put basic social services beyond the reach the majority of the residents.
Business establishments and NGOs have endeavored to fill the vacuum left by the collapsed state and have provided services such as water, electricity and telephony to those who can afford. Of the 18 hospitals in Mogadishu for example, 12 are privately owned. These include the only TB Centre and Maternity Hospital. Of the 14 MCHs 11 are for outpatients.
Not enough investments however have been made towards rehabilitating Infrastructure and Institutions destroyed during the last 2 decades. With dark Streets, mounds of garbage and disrespect for the rule of law, those who could not flee Mogadishu for other places remain in a state of Psychological darkness with very few to look to for help.
In July 2010, the government appointed a new leadership. Since his appointment as Mayor, Mohamoud Ahmed Nur , who is also the Governor of Benadir Region and his Deputy Mr Iman Nur Ikar have led a team of committed officials to lay the foundation for the revival of Mogadishu. In what they see as ‘Re-setting the Clock’, the Mayor verbalized this commitment in the following words:
“..from the day I was appointed to this position in July 2010, I wanted Mogadishu to be the Mogadishu I grew up to see, to live in and to enjoy. I am committed to reset the clock and give Mogadishu citizens a new hope where in the next three years people will again have access to water, street lighting, roads and children of school- going age will be seen running with smiling faces to and from their schools..”.
This is a grand dream of the Mayor and his deputy. A Mogadishu that has suffered 20 years of brutal destruction ever witnessed in Africa will, with the efforts and commitments of the new Fathers of the City, emerge as an icon of prosperity in the shorelines of theIndian Ocean. “Mogadishu should regain its Nineteenth Century pet name of –THE PEARL OF THE INDIAN OCEAN”.
The Council aims to restore and secure the dignity and entrepreneurial spirit of the Residents of Mogadishu. Already, the team has put its goodwill to the test and mobilized the Residents and businessmen to clean the streets by collecting and removing the mounds of garbage and refuse that had over the years become part of the street landscape. The success of the exercise has motivated the Team which is now aiming higher and intends in the next 3 years to provide a range of critical services to the Residents of Mogadishu. These services are aimed to satisfactorily address the concerns of the residents which range from insecurity, garbage and refuse, destroyed and/or absent infrastructure, disease, displacements, corruption and lawlessness, dark streets and destroyed or absent water systems and the crisis of Human Resources.