The communities of the Cal Madow are largely dependent on phytochemical and biological resources such as frankincense. However, in some areas the forests are in decline and resin production is dropping, and population continues to expand. Currently, there are few other employment opportunities as there is are few business or government positions available. Communities tend to be impoverished and remote, and have little access to education or healthcare outside of the main city of Erigavo. Opportunities for entrepreneurship are limited.
This situation has led to a burgeoning population of unemployed people, especially youth, with little to do and few opportunities to initiate projects. This lack of opportunity also drives illegal harvesting, much of which is done by disaffected youth without access to legitimate jobs. Creating a sustainable future for Cal Madow will mean creating opportunities for all people through alternative economies and entrepreneurial resources.