By Goth Mohamed Goth
The World Bank and the government of Somaliland have this week in a meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya signed an agreement which grants $20 Million for the funding of Hargeisa Water Agency to increase water production, pumping and transmission lines, and expansion of the distribution network and urban development under the World Bank Urban Investment Planning Project – UIPP.
Somaliland Minister of National Planning Dr. Sacad Ali Shire flanked by the Mayor of Hargeisa Hon Abdurrahman Mahmoud Aideed and the Managing Director of Hargeisa Water Agency Mr. Ibrahim Siyad Yunis this week in Nairobi meet with World Bank officials to discuss the funding of this projects.
The meeting concluded with the World Bank committing $20 Million in direct funding to the Somaliland government to be used for the funding of Hargeisa Water Agency to increase water production, pumping and transmission lines, and expansion of the distribution network ($6 Million)and urban infrastructure and services provision ($13 Million) and a further ($1 Million)for the assessment work for the two projects.
Somaliland National Development Plan (2012-16) pillar on Infrastructure prioritizes support to the Hargeisa Water Agency to increase water production, pumping and transmission lines, and expansion of the distribution network. The NDP’s pillar on Good Governance recognizes the challenges to decentralization caused by structural constraints and identifies projects that promote decentralization, transparency and accountability as a priority. The institutional environment pertaining to urban development and management comprises two key levels. Within each of these governmental structures, one or more agencies (the Ministry of National Planning) has a potentially key role in respect of urban investment. At the local/sectoral level, city governments have key (in fact, the key) functional powers and responsibilities in respect of urban infrastructure and services provision and management together with public utilities, such as the Hargeisa Water Agency (HWA). Again with some variation, these institutions are weak and require strengthening. Outside of these cities, local infrastructure and services are delivered by District Councils of different grades, or sizes, and widely varying capacities.
Feasibility and preliminary design studies for the solid and liquid waste investments will be undertaken to determine the costs and siting of bulk solid and liquid waste disposal/treatment sites and improvements in transfer points/stations, determine necessary construction standards and the basic technologies that are most appropriate and cost-effective, identify options for sourcing of materials and equipment, and assess the labour pool, and determine requirements (financial, technical and institutional) for sustaining and expanding the system of solid waste collection that has been introduced under donor-funded technical assistance efforts in recent years, and identify potential environmental and social impacts that will be assessed in UDP. This work has already been completed for the water supply sub-component (under the UN-Habitat supported project) and so is not required under UIPP.
Environmental and social due diligence work will contribute to the sub-component via two main types of activities: (i) a baseline survey of environmental and social information, data and issues that would help to identify E&S constraints, but also areas of potential enhancement of project outcomes, and provide E&S information, criteria and constraining factors for the processes for design and environmental / social assessments planned for UDP or other downstream planning activities; (ii) the development of an environmental and social management framework, which would constitute a generic tool for managing social and environmental risks related to urban investments, and planning follow-up investigations, assessments and analyses (for e.g. water supply and waste management activities) regardless of funding source, in Somaliland for use by entities such as local governments and water utilities.
At the institutional level, assessments will be undertaken of the Hargeisa Municipality and the Hargeisa Water Authority in order to provide an informational and analytic foundation for the detailed preparation and execution of institutional strengthening activities that will be undertaken under the UDP. The assessments will focus on basic conditions of performance, strategic planning capacity, technical and operational capacity, fiduciary systems, transparency and accountability mechanisms and environmental and social management. In the case of the HWA, the assessment will build on the review being carried out by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) as part of their Corporate Governance Advisory support to the agency. The UIPP institutional assessment will identify potential residual activities from WSP’s work; and recommend areas for future support in UDP to enable HWA to take on these residual activities.
In order to establish sufficient capacity to prepare and then implement the UDP, technical assistance which can be shared by the HM and HWA will need to be recruited under UIPP comprising a full-time project coordinator, full-time procurement specialist, a full-time social and environmental specialist, and a full-time monitoring and evaluation specialist.