By: Mo Ali-Medeshi
Somalilandsun – Geed Maraar is the centre of the town and the original high street of Erigavo. For almost a century this street has been like this. No new trees. No new buildings. No improvement to the old buildings.
The same white chalk-dust that blinds pedestrians during day time still covers Geed Maraar . The under development of this historic town of Sanaag region of Somaliland is not confined to Geed Maraar . The rest of the region is worst. The road to Maydh port through Tabaa tunnel has not been maintained since the British colonial rule. Mayd port has been swallowed by the rising sea waters and is not functional anymore. The artificial wooden port pontoons have collapsed .
To the west of Erigavo, travel via the road that leads to Burao is a nightmare . The distance between the two destinations which is 241 miles takes at least 14 hours of rough and painstaking travel . It is even worse if it rains in Saraar valley which is 40m kilometres of barren- wide soft land . To the east of Eriavo is mainly hostile land after Badhan as tribal affiliation overrides the mutual coexistence of the people of the region and Puntland exploits that sentiment. No main road goes south of Erigavo other than a rough strip road paved in the late 1970s to connect to Burao- Mogadishu tarmac road through Oog.
Sanaag is untouched , isolated and underdeveloped and Somaliland government seems not to be bothered by the suffering of the inhabitants in the region.
I have not been to Erigavo for decades but feel that underdevelopment of this region could mainly be blamed on the local government of the region . Revenues collected from the local businesses could have improved much of the needed infra structure in the region. Enforcing tax collection , prevention of corruption and show of transparency in the expenditure of the revenues could encourage locals to pay taxes regularly . No taxes , no development . Tax revenues are the main source of income for any government and lack of it means no development.
People of Sanaag need to look inwards and work hard towards the development of the region. The local government of Sanaag should not send any of its revues to Hargeisa . All of the revenues from Sanaag tax should be spent in the development of the region .
Read the entire article Erigavo : Geed Maraar is more dustier than half a century ago
The writer Mo Ali is the editor of www.medeshivalley.com