Somaliland: Hargeisa Local Council Sideliners Some Areas in Funds Allocations

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As Mahmud Haybe and Mohamed Mooge Districts wallop in none existent services due to Budgetary Constrains from City Municipality

Hargeisa City map

Somalilandsun – In central and local governments, Somaliland has encouraged the system of good governance in the past years, cascading down the administration to local level, in which the Councils are democratically elected by the people to serve their interest.

Nevertheless, this term, the elected councils proved ineffective and inefficient to serve their constituency equally and without prejudice compared to the previous council they inherited from the office, headed by Eng. Jiciir (2002-2013).

The good governance of that former council produced good results and among the notable positive changes and developments that they made during their term include:

1. The construction of modern abattoir that has improved the hygiene of the meat and sanitation conditions of the animal slaughtering area in Hargeisa. Therefore the butchers, retailers and consumers are provided with meat with assured quality that has passed through the required food hygiene standard practice.

2. Initiated successful road construction arrangements funded together by the local people and local authority-a successful scheme that is being replicated by the rest of the country.

3. Pioneered a joint venture garbage collection scheme (PPP) between the local authority and general public by establishing garbage collection companies (Sabawanaag, Horseed, Almis, Dhis and others) which has proved effective in managing household and street rubbish collections under their supervision.

4. Introduced the use of GIS technology (first of its kind) in Hargeisa Township for property surveying and town mapping that eased impressively the municipality’s land and property management and tax collections.

However, as the former council overstayed the office, with extensions, some people were simply advocating for a change, a change that would outdo the performance of the outgoing council. However, after two years of the former council’s departure, people have now acknowledged that the expectation of change is without fruition, purportedly for the attitude and the poor performance of the present council.

Regrettably, since the new council was nominated and entered the office in January 2013, they deviated (knowingly or otherwise) from the previous council’s norm of fairly serving all quarters of Hargeisa which was based on their experience, knowledge and community consultation.

in Mahmud Haybe and Mohamed moge districts such sights are regularSome other sectors of Hargeisa may be unhappy to some extent with the council, however this report is exceptional and unlike other complaints that other sectors may have, because the area that this report covers is out of Councils’ planning consideration at all. That means the two districts of Maxamud Haybe and Maxamed Mooge are not included in the current Hargeisa capital district Plan, Let alone responding to their needs! Therefore, the intention of this report is to reveal publicly the reality on the ground that Maxamud Haybe and Maxamed Mooge areas endure.

Contrary to the previous council’s planning, the new council excluded Maxamud Haybe and Maxamed Mooge districts from the Council’s planning activity, though the residents and elders in the districts have submitted their concerns to the Council repeatedly.

Several successive meetings with the Mayor, Abdirahman Solteco, took place in regards to this exclusion. The last session presented a detailed list of the districts’ needs and complaints submitted for urgent attention but it emphasised that all efforts have fallen into deaf ears.

The Mayor and his council members have taken all concerns from the inhabitants of these two neglected districts lightly. Surprisingly, what the council often boasts about, as an achievement in M Haybe and M. Mooge areas are what the previous council had already established and initiated with the funds they received.

As a last resort we, Daud intellectuals and Youth (DIY), presented below as a brief report about the various issues in Maxamud Haybe and Maxamed Mooge districts that need the urgent attention of the Central and local Governments.

Assessments:

The outstanding needs in both districts are countless. And many of the councillors in the council who hailed from this part of the city including the deputy mayor, Abdiazziz Mohammed Hashi (Cagawayne), are aware of the situation but they are either overruled or inefficient too in the council meetings. In fact, they bear the blame first as representatives for the districts in concern; they neither resigned for their ineptness nor achieved anything.

Water: nothing has been done about the existing water privations suffered by the residents of the two sectors and the situation has gone worst since this council assumed office.

Roads and Bridges: Since the election of the new council, no additional access roads and bridges are/were introduced or implemented in this part of the city despite the needs or plans are there. In addition, since 2013, the existing infrastructures (roads and bridges) fell onto disrepair and were neglected. This was generally with the exception of Jarato and Sabahareed which have received some surface restorations and pot-hole filling.

6KM DIVERTION OF WADADA CAD: The Local government (LG) and the Ministry of Aviation (MoA) fell short of their pledges to contribute to the construction of the 6KM WADADA CAD that is skirting the Airport fence on the West. As a trio agreement, the community at Masala has diligently fulfilled their part of laying out the embankment, but the LG and the MoA actions are in limbo to honour their words. In fact, this section of the road – a diversion of the public transport that goes through the Airport premises – was a part of the Airport’s 10 Million extension Project. It is a moot point as to why funds were not allocated for it and how the locals are burdened to contribute to the diversion proposal is indigestible.

The Hargeisa local Government has also deliberately ignored the improvement of the two feeding roads to Hargeisa main livestock market which are in dire condition. Furthermore, the main road from the Airport to the city is completely in poor state and unworthy to use as an Airport-bound road. Its restoration and improvement is long overdue and it is an insult to the capital and the Airport as well. And surely, the importance of this road to the Airport and to our national reflection is downplayed by the council and any plans to improve it is being stalled or entirely shelved as inside information leaked.

a public infrastructure left to rot in one of the two districtsPolice Stations: The districts lacks policing posts or are too far from nearest stations at the southern part of city and thus has resulted the occurrence of recurrent gang and youth disorder which has escalated the crime rate in the area. A construction of a police station was proposed at Star area which is a convenient zone to install a crime controlling post but that plan is extremely overdue.
In fact, the council seems unconcerned and unwilling to prevent and control those crimes through proper policing by building needed facilities for the police. Instead of establishing proper police stations in Maxamud Haybe (MH) and M.Mooge (MM)quarters of the city the anti-terrorist forces aka the RRU are ordered, in several occasions, to quell youth mobs which has become out of hand due to lack of proper police and local Authority engagement in the area. And we believe that this is a sinister hidden agenda that this council wants to undermine the growing development of these quarters of the city by portraying the area as an insecure and unreceptive for any potential businesses and offices.

Garbage Collection: The garbage is a major problem in MH and MM districts and there are no reliable rubbish collection services at household/street level and the garbage is littering everywhere on the street sides and at dumping areas. This is because of lack of proper supervision on garbage collection companies by the local Authority compared to other parts of the city where the monitoring of the garbage collection services are more or less acceptable.

Sports and Recreational Centres (SRC): As the two districts expanded and population increased with youth being the majority no SRCs built since 1991, except the three playing fields (footballs and volley) at Masala (near the Airport) built by the previous council which are now in poor condition as they need maintains and repair works and mostly are not fit for the purpose.
Saribah/Market stalls: The numbers of market stalls for essential daily merchandises in the districts are limited. And as a result the price of goods or simply necessary foodstuffs are at higher edge of the market due lack of common local market stalls that gives the local the opportunity to shop around and compare prices. But at moment they either resort to the central market spending time and money or to buy from the higher rate hoarders or kiosks available to save time.

The previous council has constructed a market at Libaaxyada (Near Ambassador slope) which was at finishing and opening stage when they transferred the office with funds. However, this much needed Market is not yet completed and a reliable insider and other sources confirmed that the funds for this market are diverted to Ibrahim Koudbour district for the discretion of the Mayor in office.

MCHs: A number of Mother Child Health centres were in the pipeline during the previous council. The proposed sites were at Animal market (sayladda), Masalaha, Calamadaha and at Digaale. The implementation of those planned MCHs is pending from the time when the former council transferred their schedule. The Digaale settlement is the most venerable area as it has lacks all amenities. Despite numerous assessments and assurances from the authority their situation is still in the balance as they live in the outer edge of the city.

The Hargeisa Livestock Market: This is the only livestock market that Hargeisa has since 1974 and it was/is one of the major sources of Local Government revenues. The main sources of local tax revenues are:-
1. The income from the Livestock market
2. The income the Chat Market
3. The income from market stalls, daily collection
4. The income from the Buses, taxes and construction trucks
5. The income from Halaye check up
6. The income from Buurta Jeexan

Despite hefty revenue income from the market, the general sanitation of the Hargeisa Livestock market is poor and this was confirmed by some committee members of the livestock market. Dead animals and carcases remain on site for a long time without disposal. Often the carcasses are being removed by the revenue collection office at Market when only exerted with pressure by people who are offended by the foul gas from the decomposed bodies. Otherwise they are being left for scavengers and dogs which are in turn unsafe and unhealthy too.

On the other hand most of the sheds in the Livestock Market which were constructed to provide shading for animals and people are absolutely lethal to the market users as the remained pieces of corrugated sheets are insecure in place and can cause damages by hitting people and animals. The structures were unkempt and derelict for too long and this indicates that the level of health and safety in the market is at an alarming point. Even a simple removal of insecure and damaged sheets is an effort that can save lives let alone renovating the sheds.

Maxamud Haybe is the largest and most populated district as well as one of the highest sources of revenue to both the Local and the Central governments. And having that significance, the district doesn’t get the attention it has deserved from the council to incorporate their plans and on-going projects.

The poor condition of the road to Egal Airport is a good example of on how the government, in general, not bothered in this part of the City, otherwise the local Government’s treatment would have been different. This road is the normal root of government officials and high level foreign delegations that use the Airport and any first time comer who passes through this root would gather a negative impression of the capital’s main roads and can image also the status of less fortunate other towns.

The Hargeisa residents were shocked to hear the Mayor’s misinterpretation of the Presidents directive to put in first priority on the construction of this main road to the Airport by releasing funds implying to the local government or the local government itself to meet the costs for the inception of the project as the understanding of the general public holds from the presidents remark. However, the Mayor asked the community through which the road passes to contribute costs, as similar as residential area roads, which was not the case any way!

In conclusion, as all requests and subsequent complaints to the council as well as all formal meetings with the mayor and his council in regard to the outstanding issues for Maxamud Haybe and Maxamed Mooge districts proved fruitless, the community in and from the areas have no option other than refusing to pay any further levies, if the council did not urgently honoured all those outstanding issues mentioned above without further delay.

As the community’s patience is wearing thin now, they are adamantly ready to go against the council as tax payers at any time now. Therefore, the ministries of interior and planning should be aware of the seriousness of the situation and they should take any appropriate action to avert that predicament to unfold.

Finally, through our assessment and findings, we are enlisting the following points as a conclusive recommendation of our assessment report:-

1. The President’s directive to construct the Road to Egal Airport up to a standard similar to Presidential one (Asphalt) should immediately be honoured as the mayor was also present at the time.

2. The quarterly plan by the former Council to work around the city districts in rota, one at a time, should be reinstated as soon as possible to avoid overspending and overdeveloping one area of the city while neglecting the rest: A tested schedule and a proper apportionment of resources among Hargeisa residents.

3. The central quarter of the city should be assignment as a district (City Centre) that is independent from the outwards perimeters.

4. New roads should be launched in M Haybe and M Mooge
5. All longitudinal (East to West) roads, comprising over eight, should be cleared, particularly the one through M. Mooge, M. Haybe and Ahmed Dhagax, and should be without obstruction.

6. M. Haybe and M Mooge districts should be officially reflected in the Hargeisa City (the capital) plan. Any omission of the names in plan is a tactical sabotage to both districts and the plan would not be acceptable as a city plan without them.

7. The Mayor should explain transparently and present to the public how he planned or how the council spent the 13M World Bank fund to Hargeisa. Without transparency this will remain a source of contention in Hargeisa council and the community in general and this will be the tip of the iceberg for an existing unsound accountability and poor leadership.

8. A percentage of maintenance cost should be earmarked for the areas with practically good revenue collections like the live stock market (Saylada) that needs a daily and a routine housekeeping to maintain functionality and hygiene of the facility and to avoid any potential nuisance that may harm the wellbeing of the neighbourhood.

Wabillahi Tawfiiq (With God we reconcile/ with Allah we succeed)
Daud’s Pen – Daud Intellectuals and Youth (DIY).

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