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Somalia, March 2016: Cleaners in Somaliland schools are finally paid thanks to JPLG

By Jamal Abdi Sarman

BURAO, Toghdeer, Somaliland March 2016 – Sahra used to clean the school her children attended in Burao free of charge. But this all changed thanks to the Joint Programme on Local Governance and Service Delivery (JPLG) which aims to build technical and budgetary capacities of local government to pay auxillary staff, improve sanitation and rehabilitate and construct classrooms.

“I’m a mother who was working for more than ten years, cleaning the school without pay,” explained Sahra Hussein Aalim, who works at Yirowe Primary School. “But things have changed for me since the program started. I have been receiving salary for the last six months from the Burao Local Authorities.”

Sahra is one of more than 90 employees in Burao district currently benefiting from the programme. The programme boosts the morale of employees and helps promote a clean environment.

Another major problem in the area was the shortage of classrooms which meant schools had to teach in shifts. However, the JPLG project helped with the rehabilitation and construction of new classrooms as well as the provision of school furniture.

In Awdal region, Sheik Ahmed Salan primary school was supported through construction of two classroom, which helped the school cope with increased enrolment witnessed during the year.

The programme aims to strengthen the capacity of local government to enhance decentralized essential services. It is currently being implemented in Toghdeer, Sahil and Awdal regions of Somaliland with the local authorities.

According to Abdirahman Mohamed Idle, UNICEF Community Development Officer, the JPLG initiative helped to decentralize services and take them closer to the people.

“JPLG also increased the involvement of local authorities and makes them acknowledge their important roles at district level,” he said. “It has also enhanced community participation in social services like education and health through the formation of community committees that fill the gap between the community and the local authorities.”

The aim of the JPLG is to ensure local governments are seen as credible basic service providers and to strengthen civic awareness and citizen participation in decision making. The programme is implemented by ILO, UNCDF, UNDP, UN-HABITAT and UNICEF and is scheduled to finish at the end of December 2017.

Within the JPLG, UNICEF’s role is to ensure participation of communities in understanding their rights, defining development priorities with district councils and contribute to policy and sector reforms. The programme is funded by the European Union, DFID, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark.



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