One of the most important projects undertaken by Burao Municipality in collaboration with UN-HABITAT was the planting of flower trees in the middle of the main roads of Burao in 2009. Many people were sceptical about the feasibility of the project at first, because they said that animals (goats) would climb the protection housing of the flowers and eat the leaves.
Others argued that street boys would vandalize them, and many people were against the project outright because they claimed that there were other more pressing things to do instead of planting flowers. Anyway, the project was executed and all of them were proven wrong.
Actually, the people of Burao liked what they saw in the middle of their town and they appreciated the beauty of the flowers. They compared the difference between the bright and beautiful sights of the yellow and red flowers of the tacoma and pomegranate, and the stinking rubbish that used to be dumped in front of their shops in the same location. In fact, the shopkeepers facing the flowers became their guardians, and they do not allow anybody to vandalize them. Some of them even remove plastic litter from the protection housing.
Moreover, the people of Burao became aware of the importance of the aesthetic beauty of their city. Actually, it is a common sight in the afternoon to see schoolchildren and others standing in front of the flower trees and arguing about the names of the plants. Others were so impressed by the brightness and beauty of the flowers that they started to plant the same trees in their yards. In short, the following benefits were gained from the implementation of this project:
- The awareness of the people about their environment has increased.
- The appreciation and interest of the people in flower trees have also increased.
- The beauty and cleanliness of the city have improved.
- Other towns and cities in Somaliland have also gained by starting identical projects.
Because of the above-mentioned benefits and the success of the project, Burao Municipality is also planning to extend the project to the other remaining roads of Burao.
And finally, this project would not have been successfully completed without the contribution of engineer Yusuf M. Ali Qoys, who proposed and implemented the project. His simple design for the protection housings and his choice of flowers has been superb.
Ahmed Adan Yusuf
Director of Administration and Finance/Local Project Coordinator
Adapted from www.cityofburao.com