By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – After five years of partnership with the UN Funded Joint Program for Local Governance-JPLG the Somaliland City Municipality has seen a dramatic improvement in public infrastructures.
This was informed by the Hargeisa Municipal JPLG Coordinator Engineer Abdiqadar Abdilahi Ali during an exclusive interview with somalilandsun in Hargeisa where he also informed that though the first phase of JPLG covering five years has ended and the donors have extended it for a similar period.
“The JPLG which is funded by a consortium of five UN Agencies started in 2009 in Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia”, said Eng Ali who also doubles as the engineer in charge of roads within the Hargeisa municipality and entire districts that falling under the wider Maroodi-Jeeh region of Somaliland.
On the issue of improvements in public infrastructure as a result of interventions fronted by JPLG the Engineer who has gained immensely from city planning training funded by the program both locally and abroad said, “So far several tangible achievements have been garnered as pertains to construction or rehabilitation of roads and feeder roads, Irish Crossings, Police stations and health centers as well as water piping among numerous others”.
The JPLG is a program which aims to support the enhancement of local governance and decentralize service delivery in beneficiary areas brings together the five UN agencies of UNDP, ILO, FAO, UNCDF and UN-Habitat with the Somaliland ministry of interior which is responsible for local governments being the line ministry.
To achieve the stated objectives of supporting local governance and decentralized service delivery the JPLG pursues coordinated work among centre l and local governments, the UN partner Agencies, a range of implementing partners, other development partners, the Private sector and communities across Somaliland.
While stressing on the various aspects of the JPLG program that the Hargeisa municipality has made a breakthrough in thanks to sufficient, timely and planned funding Engineer Abdiqadar Abdilahi Ali said that while buildings and roads are tangible achievements the most important is the assortment of skills accessed local council employees nationwide.
According to JPLG figures 2400 employees of whom 672 are female have been trained as a prelude to enhancement of services delivery and management with the trainees pooled from all the country’s local governments and from diverse professionals that range from management, technical and Governance etc.
Thanking City mayor Councilor Abdirahman Mohamoud Aideed for the ease with which he has continued to facilitate JPLG activities in the Hargeisa municipality since assuming office, Eng Ali said that of note is the mayor’s upholding of contracting procedures that has resulted in sustainable infrastructural development.
The engineer who stressed on the importance of proper and transparent procedures of contracting services and supply said the JPLG main impact is related to the instilling of these contracting skills on local governments that has eliminated the earlier system of selecting contractors haphazardly.
Eng Abdiqadar Abdilahi Ali who is optimistic of further fruits to be accrued by not only the Hargeisa Municipality but Somaliland at-large urged all stakeholders to follow the exemplary style in which the youthful City mayor has managed to familiarize thence proper administration of the JPLG within the very short period following assuming office.
One of the most significant breakthroughs of the year w as the appointment in October 2012 of the President of Somaliland and Vice president as Champions for Local governance.
These nominations helped advance the local governance reform process and further discussions on decentralization of services while raising the JPLG profile. Under their leadership inter-ministerial meetings were called and action points taken to develop decentralization policies and start piloting basic devolution of services in 2013
What is the JPLG project about