Hargeisa is the capital city of Somaliland and it is establishment dates back to over century and quarter. It locates one of the best Somaliland’s physical regions called Oogo which has the average climate and enabling meteorological conditions. In contrast, it has huge dry-valleys including Marodijeh seasonal river which sometimes cause extraordinary and extreme flooding that downpours its surroundings, perhaps it caused enormous damages during the last spring rainfalls.
Similarly, except for the two main bridges there are around hundreds of culvers throughout city from edge to edge. Fortunately, Hargeisa hosts the quarter of the Somaliland’s population, while the second most populated city is Bura’o since it hosts around 12.5% of the nation’s population.
Furthermore, there two big markets in the city which are Gobonimo and Waaheen. Also, these markets serve for more than 1.5 million people who inhabit the city and other semi-urban areas near to it.
The registered Somaliland’s automobiles are more than 100,000 vehicles, while mainly they operate within the capital city, thus this issue resulted a common traffic-jam in the mid of the city as well as every main road in the city.
Also, this city faces poor sanitation and improper waste disposal which is getting exacerbated day to day since ever. However, the Local Governments are responsible for fixing these aforesaid and many more urban disorders. In generally, their legitimate mandate, roles and responsibilities are enlisted with the Law No.23/2019.
Therefore, as this short synopsis presents there might be a numerous both challenges and opportunities which are effecting the performance of the newly elected local councilors, in particular the Hargeisa’s Local Government(HLG). If I brief the positive or negative factors which could influence the efficiency of HLG are political, social, economical, technical, environmental and legal factors.
- Politically, the newly elected councilors were selected among diverse political parties, while opposition parties gained the majority of the seats as well the mayorship of the Capital City. In addition, the newly elected mayor needs to implement his former plans such urban planning; and eradication, mitigation and reduction of the aforementioned urban disorders, thus it is essential for the Mayor to enhance the intergovernmental relations and cooperate with the other parts of the government and also demand number of police forces which support the day to day activities in the HLG including.
Therefore, this could result the incapability of the mayor solely to implement his former plans because if the central government’s willingness or interest is low for a particular mission the plans could be failure, but this doesn’t mean the mayor is weak and ineffective leader, but it could be considered a political barrier. However, it is vice versa if the cooperation between central government and locally elected councilors is effective and being maintained as well.
- Environmentally, as I mentioned earlier Hargeisa locates one of the best physical regions (Ogo) in the country, this is mainly a tilted range which has wades as well as rocky areas. Thereby, it is complicated to be utilized and surveyed in order to implement effective water supply system and drainage system, thought it may be needed re-planning and urban design, which could be sphere factor followed by conflict and ambiguity. This is one of the core factors that could hinder the performance of the HLG.
- Technically, the newly elected members are educators who hold at least University Degree, thus we can say they are equipped with diverse theoretical and practical knowledge which they can utilize output maximization and enhancement of the HLG image. Thought, they may need some external and technical expert of legal, social development experts, land use urban planners, architectures, civil, electrical engineers and so more.
- Socially, the current elected of Hargeisa’s local councilors are influential, educators and youth who are perceived they will contribute the development of the city as well as its surroundings.
Therefore, the majority of the people stand with them and willing to support by taking part the realization of any initiative which the newly elected councilors come up with. So this seems a great opportunity since the people of the city are going to accept the suggestions and orders from the mayor.
Though, these plans may require consensus among the HLG and the population as well. However, this approach could take long-term which is more extent than their term since this is not immediate effect which could be predicted.
Thus, behavioral change of the local people could be success factor if it is enforced, but nothing can be achieved without.
- Legally, the HLG is not fully authorized to crackdown the buildings contradicting the smooth running of its plans, while there is an effective Law which states the land administration issue, so this could be another factor which may be negatively could influence the urban development and performance of HLG, thus some goals or their objectives seem that they could not be achieved without reviewing those legal factors.
- Economically, the HLG receive diverse funds throughout revenue collection, subsidy or funds from donors like Joint Program of Local Governments (JPLG). However, according to Eng. Abdirasak Wiiwaa as he stated within an interview took place during the campaign days, the revenue collected by the HLG is estimated around over 15 million USD per annually.
Thought, the current taxation system of the local government is not transparent and effective system which enables a complete accountability in all levels.
Anyway, operation cost of HLG could be around less than quarter of its revenue according to Wiiwaa.
Last but not least, Hargeisa’s Local Government Performance may be influenced by these stated factors. Thought, some of the factors might whether negatively or positively influence its performance while the others are single-sided factors which may either hinder or maximize the performance.
- Organized City Sanitation Campaigns targeted to the most dirty areas of the city
- Holding an innovation competitions concerning the improvement of urban disorders and solving one of the most existing problems in the city by biding and investing the best ideas and projects as well in accessible and inclusive manner.
- Decentralizing the services provided by HLG into district and section level.
- Social Media Campaigns targeted the status quo and its betterment.
- Expert and grassroots’ consultation
- Investing further researches
- Placing Complainant Mechanism System (modern or traditional) and Suggestion Box into the main streets of city.