World Habitat Day 2008: The Inauguration of Street Lighting Projects and the Inji and Mohamed Mooge Market Rehabilitation Projects
World Habitat Day was celebrated on 6 October 2008 all over the world, and Somaliland was no exception. The theme for 2008 was “harmonious cities”.
To commemorate the day, several UN-HABITAT-Municipality of Hargeisa projects were inaugurated:
Street lighting projects for Hargeisa Hospital and a nearby street
The street lighting project in Ayaha II
The Mohamed Mooge Market rehabilitation project
The Inji Market rehabilitation project
Officials from the government, representatives of international organizations, and community members from the surrounding area attended the ceremony. The occasion started with the official opening of the street lighting projects in and around Hargeisa Hospital. Before Abdulahi Ali Iro, the Minister of Interior, cut the ribbon, an explanation was given on how the solar power system works and its importance as a renewable source of energy.
The second project to be inaugurated was the street lighting project in Ayaha II. The Mayor of Hargeisa, Hussein Mohamud Ji’ir, cut the ribbon. Later, during the opening of the markets, the Minister of Interior, the Mayor of Hargeisa, Libaan Hussein from UN-HABITAT, and beneficiary representatives gave speeches. The chairpersons from the Mohamed Mooge Market and Inji Market committees highlighted how the rehabilitated markets will boost business by attracting more customers.
All the officials who spoke agreed with the theme of the day, “harmonious cities”. They stated that in order to have development, all should be ready to contribute. It was stressed that the business premises must be kept clean and hygienic. The vendors were encouraged to move indoors and do business within the market perimeters, so as to relieve congestion in the area around the markets.
Liibaan Hussein made it clear that the markets were “local projects”, which are intended to develop and deliver good services to the people. He further mentioned the need for municipality follow-up and for the establishment of a proper management system to safeguard sustainability. Hussein mentioned that UN-HABITAT contributed over 70 percent of the funds – the rest was from the Municipality of Hargeisa and the market vendors.
In his speech at Inji Market, the Mayor of Hargeisa had this to say:
“I express my sincere and special thanks to UN-HABITAT, UNA, the municipality, the Inji Market Committee, and all the traders in this market. I also have to thank the European Union for supporting these kinds of projects. I must recognize the efforts made by the market committee in collecting contributions from the traders for the construction of the project. It is clear that the Inji community is willing to maintain the new facilities they have been provided with – that is why Inji Market is ahead of other markets in Hargeisa.”
As part of the day’s entertainment, a quiz competition was organized between the Standard Five classes of Ahmed Ali Toor Primary School and Ayaha II Primary School. Prizes were presented to the participants: books, bags, pens, and two footballs, one for each school.
Local media, including Radio Hargeisa and Somaliland National TV, covered the events. Newspapers such as Geeska, Jamhuriya, and Haatuf and Somali websites such as Hadhwanaag also published stories. From the international media, Somali-language RAAD TV was present.