Friday, April 26, 2013
The Somali federal government has started to
rebuild municipal centres in Galgadud in partnership with the
pro-government Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa (ASWJ) militia.
Local authorities will manage the day-to-day operations of the
reconstruction projects, which the Ministry of Interior and National
Security will oversee as its influence spreads over larger areas of
Galgadud Governor Ahmed Yusuf Hassan said the projects, largely
funded by the United States Agency for International Development
(USAID), would cost $1.2 million.
"USAID will pay $1 million and the additional $200,000 will be drawn
from the regional treasury," Hassan told Sabahi. "We will use it to
build what is critical in each district. The amount allocated for the
regional capital is $400,000 while each of the remaining districts will
ASWJ liberated most of Galgadud from al-Shabaab in 2009, and the
Somali government took official control in July 2012, with ASWJ forming a
As al-Shabaab still influences some parts of Galgadud, ASWJ and the
Somali government have agreed to collaborate on improving security and
establishing a more permanent regional government.
The government plans to restore essential public services by
repairing or constructing buildings in the Abduwaq, Balanbale, Guri El,
Harale districts and the regional capital Dhusamareb.
Eastern districts such as El Bur and El Dher will not benefit from
the reconstruction because they still are under al-Shabaab control.
All five districts will have their city halls restored, Hassan said.
In Dhusamareb, the central court, airport, women's centre and provincial
sports centre will be rebuilt. In Balanbale, the high school will be
rebuilt. Abduwaq will have its women's centre restored. Harale will have
a market and a school construction project completed, while Guri El
will have a women's centre and football stadium built.
"This is the first part of a stabilisation and reconstruction project
that will continue for five years. Other work that is important to
governance will also be done here, such as building police stations,"
Hassan said, adding that the project will eventually be replicated
throughout the country.
Ministry of Interior and National Security's
Rehabilitation and Reconstruction department director Mohamed Aabi
Hassan was part of the delegation sent to oversee the project.
"Our aim is to expand the [reach of the] government to the people so
they can participate in stabilising and reconstructing the country," he
told Sabahi. "This project comes after the agreement between the
government and Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa and will benefit districts that are
currently under the government's control. We will start rebuilding the
regions under al-Shabaab's rule when the government recaptures them."
Benefits for youth, women
Dahabo Adam Ali, a member of the Guri El Women's Union, said rebuilding women's centres is step towards better governance.
"It is the first time the women of Guri El have received the respect
they are due," she told Sabahi. "There was no centre for women here, so
we will use the centre being built for us to reach out to girls,
educating them and advancing the skills of women."
Dhusamareb football federation deputy director Mohamed Ahmed Osman
said the sports community is in dire need of a stadium, which is key to
the stability and integration of youth.
"We were eagerly awaiting this reconstruction and it will help us
advance peace and stability because sports cannot exist without peace,"
he told Sabahi. "We will hold regional sports tournaments here after the
sports stadium facilities are restored, such as the locker rooms,
toilets and seats."
Balanbale District Commissioner Hareeri Hasan Bare said rebuilding city hall would improve the level of government services.
"My administration was based in a rented building," he told Sabahi.
"From now on, we will serve the public from a government structure and
our children will get a high school to get an education."