Somalia Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Claire DeSaussure

Claire has worked in behavioral programs at the Elementary Level and has an MLS with a focus on Creative Writing.

Somalia is a country in Eastern Africa. It lies on the Indian Ocean and has been valued as a port for many landlocked countries in Africa. It has a troubled history of war and famine.

Test Your Parents!

Somalia is a country that you might think you haven't heard of, but your parents or some adults you know may have watched the movies, Blackhawk Down and Captain Phillips, which were both set in Somalia. If your parents have watched them, give them a little quiz and see if they remember the country the movies were set in!

Fast Facts

Somalia is a country on the Eastern coast of Africa. The north part of the country has mountains while the south part of the country is flat land.

A Map of Somalia
Somalia

Somalia's size is 246,000 square miles, which makes it a little bit smaller than the state of Texas. Most of the land in Somalia is used to graze cattle, and few crops are grown. There are about nine million people that live in Somalia, and over one million of them live in the capital city, Mogadishu. Because of famine and fighting, the average life expectancy, which is how old someone might live to be, is 46. This may seem old to you, but the USA's life expectancy is nearly 79 years.

Somalia's weather is unpredictable - sometimes it doesn't rain much at all, and other times it rains so much that it floods. The weather causes famine. Famine means that people are starving because the country cannot produce enough food for them. When the rains don't come, the crops don't grow, grass does not grow to feed the cows, and people have nothing to eat. When it rains too much, floods kill the crops and the animals.

A Brief History

Somalia is an ancient country that was ruled by native tribes until about 1840. The British wanted to use the country as a link to the Suez Canal, which helped them transport goods more quickly. Some of the leaders made agreements with Great Britain, and before long Britain began to colonize Somalia. Colonization is when people from one country to another and take over the power of that country. France. Egypt, Italy, and Ethiopia, also began to colonize Somalia.

On July 1st, 1960, the Italian and English governed parts (British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland) were given back to the people of Somalia. Since that time, there have been many wars as people fight against each other to decide who will be in charge.

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