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Somali Govt to Rebuild Municipal Centres in Galgadud

Friday, April 26, 2013

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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 Somalia.

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 get $200,000."

ASWJ liberated most of Galgadud from al-Shabaab in 2009, and the Somali government took official control in July 2012, with ASWJ forming a regional administration.

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.

Reconstruction plans

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."



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