Mogadishu, Speech Eng. Abdirahman Omar Osman Mayor of Mogadishu & Governor of Benadir Regional Administration (SDRF) Meeting, 12 June 2019, Mogadishu Deputy Prime Minister, Members of Cabinet, Members of Parliament, Ambassadors, Heads of development agencies, UN Agencies, Distinguished co-chairs, Distinguished guests, Chairperson of the Independent Election Committee, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to echo with the statement of the DPM to hugely thank DFID and in particular Phil Evans for his great leadership role on SDRF and we wish him all the best. I would also like to welcome the USAID Mission Director Jeffrey Bakken for taking the seat of co-chair of SDRF. BRA welcomes you and I would like to give you my assurances that we will assist you in any way we can as SDRF is very important to the recovery of our nation. I would also like to welcome the new Chief of UNDP Somalia Mr. Jocelyn Mason, whom I had an opportunity to meet and discussed strengthening our partnership working.
Thank you for this opportunity to bring you Benadir Regional Administration (BRA) update. As you are all aware Mogadishu is the second fastest urbanization and it faces very unique challenges compared to other capitals around the globe. However, I am determined and committed to overcome all these challenges as our people are resilient and we hope to change those challenges into opportunities.
I am very pleased to report to you, that Mogadishu security plan is working very well, especially in the last few months. In February and March, we saw an increase of terror attacks. To counter this, we established excellent partnership working with the police force, and we have made the following implementations: Identified key checkpoints in our security plan and ensured that they are manned day and night, by 1,000 soldiers, and in total, they are 3,000 strong working in all 17 districts. I would like to highlight that it is the 1st time we have police presence in 72 neighborhood community centers.
These checkpoints search every vehicle and ensure that they are not VBIED, IEDs on board and illegal weapons. Implementation of neighborhood watch schemes, where security and citizens patrol together each and every neighborhood, For the last two months, day and night, the police did security operations. Coupled with that, we have put in place mobile security forces that are doing “stop and search” of vehicles and people.
We have established a sub-committee that evaluates and monitors all checkpoints, and that go to all the sites in the city to ensure things are fulfilled as agreed and planned as part of the Mogadishu Security Plan. For the last 3 weeks, on a daily basis, I chaired the security meetings between the security institutions and our administration, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Security and the Office of the PM. We discuss the findings of the evaluation and monitoring and share their analysis at the meeting.
I remain committed to the continuation of our collective efforts, as to not lose the recent progress made in the city. I’d like to stress that despite our best efforts, we still have enormous challenges that we need to overcome, such as lack of resources that is preventing us in the implementation of Mogadishu security plan that has been proven to work in the last few months. I would like to implore the donors to play an important role, and hope they can put aside specific budget for this plan, which is very important for the overall peace and security of the country (logistics- ammunition, vehicles, running cost etc)
We have established a Hotline number, where the community are given an opportunity to report suspicious activities (10 AS arrested from these tips) In order to continue to the implementation Phase 2 planning is underway, to increase the parameters up to the Industrial Road- as well as to the outskirts of Mogadishu, moving beyond the inner city. We have embarked on more community engagement and public awareness, during Ramadan, as I partook in the round checks of all districts, including Bakara Market.
As part of BRA Durable Solutions initiative BRA has a vision to fully integrate them into the society – I believe they have every right to be part of the society, and we want them to be given an opportunity to study, have access to healthcare, education- all social services. We give them priority in job opportunities, and want them to be part of the upcoming elections of one person, one vote.
Thank all those who have assisted us in creating the DSU. So far we have.
Developed and implemented our IDP Policy.
Created BRA Durable Solution Unit (DSU).
Developed BRA Durable Solution Plan.
Established the Forced Evictions Task Force.
These efforts are made to find a lasting solution for the security and economic hardships faced by the region and it is a priority for us to find solutions for their standard of living, including at a minimum, access to adequate food, water, housing, health care and basic education and access to other essential items along with tenure security and protection of vulnerable groups such as women and children.
The DSU is tasked to develop a regional strategy for guiding the implementation of Durable Solutions programs and for sustainably addressing the protracted displacement situation at a large scale in Benadir Region, including financing scheme and visualization of strategy.
I’m proud to highlight the recent achievement of the DSU, as we have established the first durable solution’s coordination working group in Mogadishu, the coordination forum brings together key governmental entities, UN agencies, NGOs and donors to synergize Durable Solution related interventions in Benadir Region and provide strategic guidance on delivering sustainable solutions to the lives of displacement affected communities. The Coordination takes place once every two months under the leadership of BRA and feeds regional plans toward displacement solutions.
In addition, BRA has also managed to bring together OPM, line ministries along with the National Refugees and IDPs Agency to link to our regional Durable Solutions vision. On top of that, we have garnered FGS entities support on BRA led initiatives towards Mogadishu displacement. As we forge to commit to durable solutions, this Unit will begin the process of resettlement soon and we are at the moment working with EU Re-Integ program to build three hundreds of homes (for IDPs)
To tackle the high forced evictions within the region, BRA establishes the Forced Eviction Taskforce, and has dedicated trained staff 6. In the next few weeks the Taskforce will finalize regional strategy for lawful evictions and will share with you —our stakeholders. The issue of IDP is a global issue and needs global solution- better coordination is the only way out.
Finance and Administration
BRA, Mogadishu Municipality Financial & Services Management Information System is one that ensures financing architecture for implementing of the BRA development plan, our Public spending is in line with available resources and development priorities of Benadir Regional Administration and Mogadishu Municipality. Transparency and accountability are features of our self funded public financial management system in BRA Mogadishu Municipality, one of the best in the country.
Procurement (Guidelines) of Mogadishu local government services is done in a systematic, transparent, accountable way and reporting. We are grateful for EU and WB who have given us confidence in using our system and given us grants to manage, Multi Partner Fund can follow suit hopefully- it has empowered us to pursue accountability and transparency, which will give us more determination and commitment to strive for better.
Despite of our best efforts on increasing revenue collection, we have enormous challenges as people are not paying taxes, and our law enforcement not strong enough to enforce the collections- therefore in order to overcome this above mentioned challenges, we urgently need your support in this area, whether it be capacity building or budgetary support, until we are able to self sustain ourselves. We are in the process of the review of our HR system.
Institutional building – effective and efficient institutions is a top priority for me – So far, we are rebuilding 3 district community centres targeted by the terrorists (Hodon, HW, Wadajir) They were targeted by AS for their immense community work and winning the hearts and minds of the people. End of May they also targeted Warta Nabada District headquarters and destroyed it completely- we hope to find a quick way to rebuild it back.
Yesterday we held an event there with the presence of the Deputy PM, where the community gathered and discussed ways of rebuilding through Isxilqaan (voluntarily) and community rebuilding the HQ. I made an appeal to business community and the public at large to make donations, so that we Somalis can rebuild the center ourselves.
I am confident in the spirit and resilience, we will be able to raise some funds, but we may still need your support in this area I am also very glad to report to you the community of Yaqshid District came together, to build a 3 story building, which is almost complete, with the help of the community.
The four targeted districts were the ones doing more community engagement, service delivery, raising local taxes, where they we able to unify the community. I am very pleased to share with you that the people said enough is enough and all these districts are in the process of completing the building work, and soon will be fully functioning and serving the community. Terrorists destroyed our institutions, but we are determined to rebuild to show our resilience.
We are building markets in Daynile, Karan, and areas devastated by recurring fires in Bakara Market. We are building Mogadishu Sports complex, Playgrounds, and a number of soccer fields, such as Qoobdore in Karan with the support of US AID. Under flood management scheme, we have renovated water catchment centres in KM4 and Hamarweyne, with the support of Norway via NIS. We have also renovated Bondhere water catchment centre with the support through SSF, but we still need to do more on this area as we have a huge problem during rainy season. This year we were well prepared in preventing damages on flooding, even though the rainy season is still underway.
We have begun the building of 19 community roads with the support of Germany via Wold Bank as the first community road building is underway in Hamar-Jajab district. I am very pleased that the EU has shown their commitment to support us in the remaining community roads in the city. We have rehabilitated the Solar lights in some parts of the city, but we need more and more as lights will deter crimes and terrorists activities. The rehabilitation of Mogadishu Stadium is underway, and once is completed it will hugely help our young people as sports activities can help us prevent our youths to join terrorists.
We now have Benadir Regional Roadmap inline with the FGS roadmap. On a weekly basis we have an accountability meetings, all sub groups of roadmap also meet weekly. The three thematic areas area Security, Politics & Justice, Economic Development and Social Services. We established Monitoring & Evaluation department that will ensure that all tasks are implemented. n terms of the implementation of our road map, it is without a doubt that we are facing resource limitation, especially in funding and technical capacity. We hope that the international partners will commit support for BRA road maps.
In the first quarter of this year and to date, we have achieved a number of our road maps and milestones. The key ones are as follows: Finalization of Regional Procurement policy and it’s audit manual to ensure transparency, accountability, fair competition and value for money in all procurement practices we do. We started roads infrastructure rehabilitation in Mogadishu including tarmac roads, interlock and feeder roads.
As I mentioned earlier, we have finalized the rehabilitation of 4 main water catchments in Mogadishu as well as drainage systems To improve city cleaning and environmental protection, as Mayor, I signed a by-law for solid waste management for Mogadishu to ensure lawful enforcement regarding sanitation/Hygiene in the city We finished first phase of Municipal employee biometric data to improve accountability as well as capacity development We have started to review and streamline the municipal Financial management policy and manual in line with the BRA FMIS which is key policy for the Financial control,
Transparency and integrity
We are in the process to finalizing the Benadir Development Plan, that went through series consultation with key stakeholders and yesterday we held one of these consultation where representatives from ministries of the FGS were present. BDP is inline with the National Development Plan. It sets out our key priorities- that consists of 6 key thematic areas.
Security, Economic development, social services, effective and efficient institutions, environment and so forth. With the support of EU we now have established two Emergency Response Centre in Hodon and Wadajir, these centers are fully equipped with firefighters and equipment, ambulances and the goal is to establish them in all 17 districts provided that we get the necessary funding.
With the support of US AID. A new laboratory building is underway for building materials – which will greatly help us. Finally, in order to overcome our unique challenges in the capital city of Mogadishu such as finding durable solutions of our Internally Displaced People (IDPs),
Job creation for our youths, security and infrastructure development we would like to assure you our commitment and determination and we would our international partners and donors to also focus on the development of Mogadishu. We aim to continue engaging with our communities as we believe it is vital for our people to be empowered to take part the development of their capital city. Mogadishu’s development is the development of the country.