Solid waste management projects and a solar street lighting project are improving sanitation, hygiene, health, environmental conditions, and living standards in three municipalities in Puntland – Bossaso, Gardho, and Garowe. The projects address service delivery in the solid waste sector and increase the protection of vulnerable urban populations through better street lighting. These activities are under the UN Joint Programme on Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery, and it was established that only those municipalities with functional councils could receive the grant of USD 75,000.
Consultations on solid waste management were carried out in Bossaso, Gardho, Garowe, and Galkayo. However, Galkayo Municipality failed to comply with the council formation requirement and missed out on the grant. The other three municipalities have since signed agreements of cooperation for solid waste management with CESVI, the implementing partner, following extensive consultations. Each district will have a proper dump site and transfer station to manage their waste collection. As it is the largest urban centre, solar street lighting is being installed in Bossaso’s settlements for the internally displaced.
The municipalities received practical training and sensitization on the design of landfills and solid waste transfer stations, as well as the procedures for environmental impact assessments. With this technical capacity, they prepared service solicitation tender documentation for the construction of proposed solid and liquid waste infrastructure. CESVI and UN-Habitat representatives then helped supervise the transparent contractor selection process at the three municipalities. The proposed works started in earnest in October.
The project strategy has been to invest in tangible, sustainable inputs that are least susceptible to corruption and misuse. Each of the three municipalities purchased tipper trucks for waste collection after long debates on the sustainability of such initiatives. To ensure ownership of the equipment, the municipalities contributed part of the additional funding required.
As part of the capacity-building process, the selected municipalities are setting up – with support from CESVI – Solid Waste Equipment Maintenance Committees. These committees will promote the continual upkeep of equipment investments provided through this project. In collaboration with the councils, they have been undertaking awareness campaigns on solid and liquid waste management through radio and print advertisements, workshops, and community meetings. These committees relate to the tender committees and are a bridge of accountability and transparency.
Such crucial assistance could take the form of technical and financial assistance in the areas of resource mobilization, planning and budgeting processes, as well as building the capacity of councillors and administration staff. Competent, skilled local governments with clear-cut policies and sufficient resources (or at least reasonable subsidiary plans) will be in a better position to deliver the mandated services and thus will contribute to fostering local economic development.