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University of Waterloo (2020)

Nomadic Passage : Water Conservation and Land Preservation (Somalia)

Dirie, Amal

Titre : Nomadic Passage : Water Conservation and Land Preservation (Somalia)

Auteur : Dirie, Amal

Université de soutenance : University of Waterloo

Grade : Master of Architecture 2020

Résumé partiel
“Nomadic Passage : Water Conservation and Land Preservation” investigates the dynamic and sustainable qualities of Somali nomadic life, in regards to their livelihood, communal spaces, and traditional practices that are under extreme threat from the effects of climate change. These unstable conditions have resulted in decreased human stewardship on the nomads’ traditional environments. Nomadic life is reliant on landscape conditions that are well managed and maintained. Roughly half of the population of Somaliland still lives nomadically ; however, recurrent droughts have caused millions of deaths due to water scarcities, famine, and growing food insecurities. Overgrazing and overusing resources without considering how to replenish the soil or replant uprooted vegetation are the main reasons responsible for the increased desert conditions. Therefore, newfound scarcity in sustenance compels nomads to migrate towards the city in search of better situations to sustain themselves and their camels. Yet, they are not accustomed to or equipped for the demands of urban life. Throughout time Somali nomads have moved their huts to places that had enough water and frequent rains. The Somali hut symbolized a pivotal artifact that adjusted to the abrupt shifts and changes within the environment. The hut and its craft magnify the status of nomadic women in establishing a firm and rooted culture. “One could consider the architecture of nomadism like quilts that emerge from the intimate world of female kinships, friendships and rituals.” Women are responsible for every genuine aspect of the hut, from its dynamic nature to its profound beauty. Nomads are bound in a cyclical pattern of laying down their foundations during prosperous seasons. In times of hardship, they dismantle their homes and possessions to proceed on camel-back and seek more favorable conditions.


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Page publiée le 11 avril 2021