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Volume 5: Housing and Household Assets of the Somali People

This report presents findings on the housing structures, sources of energy for lighting and cooking and ownership of assets/equipment by the Somalis from the Somali Population Estimation Survey (PESS) 2014. Analysis is disaggregated by sex, education of the household head, wealth quintile and type of residence, methods of human waste disposal, information on type of floor material, wall covering and roofing material used by households and by region. The most common type of flooring material used by households across the population is earth at 52.8 percent, followed by cement at 35.7 percent. Households in the wealthiest quintile could afford cement for flooring with much ease compared to households from the lower wealth quintiles. Most households used iron sheets for roofing, followed by palm leaf. Some households also used concrete for roofing. The types of wall material for housing includes bricks/blocks, grass, iron sheets, wood and mud with wood.
Sources of energy for lighting are charcoal, torch, electricity, kerosene, solar energy among others. A majority of the richest households use electricity for lighting while households in the poorest quintile use torch as the main source of lighting. There is still a challenge of access to electricity by most Somalis’ households. Solar energy is the least used. Charcoal and firewood is reported to be the most common source of energy for cooking by Somali households. Charcoal and firewood are easily available for most households, with the other forms of energy for cooking having minimal usage across the population. There is variation in main source of energy for cooking by sex, with households headed by males reporting slightly higher use of charcoal than firewood at 57.4 percent and 42.2 percent respectively. Households with younger household heads (10 -19 years) had the largest proportion of firewood use in cooking, with minimum variation across the other age groups of household heads. The level of education of the household head did not significantly influence the variations between charcoal, firewood and electricity as a source of energy for lighting and cooking.
Most households across the population use pit-latrines for human waste disposal, amounting to more than half of the households at 54.7 percent. Flush toilets and bushes were also ways in which households commonly dispose off human waste (at 21.5 and 22.7 percent respectively). Land ownership is at 43.2 percent. Among households owning land, they use it for commercial purposes (13.2 percent), farming (49 percent) and livestock keeping (15.2 percent). Some of the land was also vacant at the time of the survey (22.7 percent). Most households owned a radio (88.6 percent). TV set ownership was also among the assets that were frequently reported (44 percent).