Somaliland: What Do Local Governments Owe Their Constituencies?

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If the somali script sign post to Somaliland Mayors Association HQs is anything to go by then constituents are doomed

Somalilandsun- At the year of 2002 Somaliland held the first local municipality election. People went polls to shape the direction of their communities by choosing the city councilors to positively enhance the socioeconomic values and wellbeing of the people they representin fixed term. The city councilors have the mandate of the central government to levy taxes and the right/obligation to formulate, approve and execute the budget from the fees and taxes they collect.

The population of cities increased substantially, since the first municipal election was held. Contrariwise the rapid population growth and urbanization negatively affected the social services, infrastructure (roads, waste sewages, garbage disposal facilities) which are inadequate to the increased demand of the population growth. In addition to this, widespread tax mismanagement of local governments enabled the inability to execute the mandates of their constituency which causes the dissatisfaction and decline of their legacies.

To reverse the course, it is important for the local council to fix the problem by fulfilling their mandate by proper tax management, reforming social service development, revisiting the needs and the interests ofpeople while ensuring the transparency and accountability of the provisionof services the people need.

In matter fact, the reality is that the elected city councils lack knowledge of who they stands for, their constituency, and their responsibility of the wellbeing of the people who elected. They think that they represent their clan interests which play a big role mismanagement of taxes and slow down economy growth.

To fill the gap that exists, the members of assembly should have known what matters to his/her constituency. It is important that councils should not only reflect and represent the communities they serve; but also have to broader range of skills and experience to get rewarding legacy and privilege form of public service. And top of that, local council should not pay attention off the robbery and stealing the common-land belongs to the citizens. Failure of this responsibility will undermine the public trust of the local councilor and this lack of failure will reflect the broader picture of land reserve for future value of each department, section, structure and dwelling unit ofthe city that considered a necessary to cover citizen’s basic needs such as police stations, hospitals, entertainment place and it should be protected.

Adam AhmedIn my conclusion, since local councilors do not represent a given ward, they are unable to set up a direct relationship with agiven constituency. In some cases when some assistant offer to rural or urban with deliver a service may be too good to reject. Also this isessential to determine the ways in which community may alienated from land management and other development issues.

The author Adam Ahmed Adam is an economist based in Erigavo, Sanaag region of Somaliland.

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