Somali mayors tour Karama model village

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Mayors from Somalia have pointed out lessons they have learnt from Rwanda, where they are currently conducting a study visit.

A total of 33 mayors together with officials from the Somali Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation (MoIFAR), on Monday kicked off a week-long forum in Kigali where they have discussed several governance issues with their Rwandan counterparts.

The forum included various study tours to places like the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, as well as places that showcase Rwanda’s socio-economic development activities, for example model villages in which people who were formerly living in high risk zones were resettled. 

On Thursday, February 17, the delegation visited the Karama Integrated Development Programme (IDP) Model Village which is home to 240 households composed of over 1,270 people who were relocated from several parts of the Kigali where they were exposed to natural hazards such as floods and landslides.

The model village boasts apartments, a secondary school, an Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD), paved roads and other utilities like electricity.

They also toured the Bishenyi Solid Waste Management Facility, a project that transforms solid waste into different materials such as fuel briquettes used as a source of energy, construction materials, among others.

Speaking in a media interview after the visits, Adan Farah Garane, the Director General of the Ministry of Interior in Jubaland State of Somalia, said they have picked good lessons about which they will talk to the different stakeholders back in their country.

He described the model villages as a “durable initiative” for relocating people from slums to modern housing, while he also appreciated the Bishenyi waste recycling project, saying such technology can benefit Jubaland – his home state.

This study tour will be conducted in different district of Rwanda.

“We need to explain these things to the stakeholders. This is a concern mostly to the mayors of the districts. For example, in Jubaland state where I am from, there is a waste management company, but it burns waste, instead of recycling it. So, this is a good lesson,” he said.

Asha Omar Mohamud, an Advisor to the Governor of Banaadir region, Somalia also picked lessons.

“I like the 3 foundations that the President (Kagame) talked about: being together, being transparent and thinking big,” she said, as she further noted that there is a need for her country to learn from Rwanda’s experience of reconciliation, reconstruction as well as service delivery.

“I have learnt a lot about how people are accountable to themselves; to forgive and ask for forgiveness, and develop their country,” she said.

The forum comes to an end on Friday. It was looked at as a platform for participants to reflect development issues such as urbanization, decentralization, displacement, disaster management, and localization of services.

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