A number of units of measurement were used in Somalia to measure length, mass, area, capacity, etc. Metric system adopted in 1950, and has been compulsory since 1972 in Somalia.[1]

System before metric system

A number of units were used. These units were local and varied with materials and provinces.


Several units were used to measure length. One top was equal to 3.92 m.[1][2] One cubito was equal to 1/7 top.[1][2]


A number of units were used to measure mass. One rottolo (pound) was equal to 0.448 kg.[1][2] Some other units are given below:

1 okia (ounce) = 116 rottolo

1 frasla = 36 rottolo

1 gisla = 360 rottolo.[1][2]


One darat was equal to 8000 m2.[2]


Two main systems, dry and liquid, were used.


Several units were used to measure dry capacity. One chela was equal to 1.359 L.[1][2] Some other units were given below:

1 tabla = 15 chela

1 gisla = 120 chela.[1][2]


One caba was equal to 0.453 L.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Cardarelli, F. (2003). Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Their SI Equivalences and Origins. London: Springer. pp. 172. ISBN 978-1-4471-1122-1.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Washburn, E.W. (1926). International Critical Tables of Numerical Data, Physics, Chemistry and Technology. Vol. 1. New York: McGraw-Hil Book Company, Inc. pp. 11, 12.