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Somalia Manual Labor Costs

Mogadishu

Somalia is a developing country where a lot of work is manual. There is not enough machines easily available, therefore minimum use of machines. Costs of manual labour depend on nature of the work and whether labour is skilled or unskilled. Somali Ministry of Labour concentrates on issuing work permits but falls short of regulating it. Labour terms and any form of agreements are privately negotiated with the employer.
There is sufficient manual labour in Mogadishu. However there is job scarcity with the current Government challenged with creation of opportunities for the high number of unemployed individuals. Apart from the private companies, there are a few unions that were formed by the former Said Barre regime. But after the regime the unions remained without any legislation. The common unions are MMD, Mogadishu Stevedoring Union which provides porters at Mogadishu Port.
The main areas of manual work are the construction sites, port operations and plumbing and electrical works. Rates depend on the nature, intensity and complexity of the job to be done.

Mogadishu – Type of Labour

Daily Rate (US$)

Daily General Worker (semi-skilled)

10 – 15 Daily

Daily General Worker (unskilled casual worker)

10 – 15 Daily

Skilled Labour

10 – 15 Daily

One of the main challenges Somalia is facing is weak human resource capacity and inadequate operational support facilities. Before the civil war, Somalia had a well-established civil management system such as labour related dispute settlement and retirement benefits. The systems have collapsed and with time the professionals and the experienced people have moved out of the country.

Somaliland

There is no standard labour payment and therefore, each entity provides differently, however, the differences might not be much. Types of work can also determine actual deserved payment for skilled, semi-skilled and un-skilled labourers. Sometimes due to weather conditions (extreme heat, hardship etc.) in Berbera, labourers demand higher rates comparing to the rest of the country. Labourers in the Ministry of Finance are paid higher than other labourers in the other government ministries in order to reduce corruption rates.
At the Port of Berbera, there is a labour union called Gelle (porters) and their payment is much higher as they charge US$3.50 per MT. Labourers are available for all job categories and there are no restrictions for hiring them. It is possible to have direct contracting without passing through Ministry of Labour. Common areas of work include national services, International Agencies, LNGOs, commercial companies, individuals etc.

In Somaliland national labourers are categorized in to A, B, C and D and their pay vary depending on the respective categories. In normal construction work, skilled, semi-skilled and un-skilled labourers are paid differently as well, US$6.15 for unskilled, US$8 for semi-skilled and US$12.30 per day for skilled workers. As stated above, demand for higher rates is common in Berbera. Due to the weather and hardship, they demand US$10 for un-skilled, while US$15 for skilled labourers per day, especially for installation of mobile storages including mobile storage units such as Wiikhalls.
Security guards are also paid US$15 per day. As living cost is very high in Berbera and the weather is not favourable, resignations from staff is high.
During the Holy Month of Ramadan, working hours remain the same (8 hours/day) theoretically, but the output is not as high as other times. The Port of Berbera is operational for 14 hours per day for break bulk cargoes and for general goods, while it is declared 24 hours operational for bulk cargoes. The shift from 14:00 hours to 16:00 hours is removed during the Ramadan and therefore, the 2 hours is added to late working hours – work stops at 0400 hours instead of 0200 hours.

Somaliland – Type of Labour

Monthly Rate (US$)

Daily general worker (semi-skilled)

$92

Daily general worker (unskilled casual worker)

$54

Skilled labour

$120

Kismayo

The previous government laid down regulations following the ILO standards. 

Kismayo – Type of Labour

Daily Rate (US$)

Daily general worker (semi-skilled)

$10

Daily general worker (unskilled casual worker)

$6.50

Skilled labour

$21