One can hear the people in the Dawa Zone of the Somali Region complain about the long promised infrastructural projects. The sources who contacted Addis Zeybe say that the roads in the Zone are out of use, severe shortage of running water has been rampant in the area and other basic services are also similarly inadequate, if not worse.
Nejmia Faisel, a resident of Moyale Woreda says that the regional government promised to construct those infrastructural projects 12 years ago. “But nothing is accomplished except a promise to do so every year,” she says. According to Nejima, the representatives of the community in the Zone have sent their plea as they always do, to the zonal and regional governments for the accomplishments of the needed schemes.
“We have been requesting the concerned bodies repeatedly for the execution of these development projects, but none of them were carried out,” says Haji Bashir Abdi, another member of the community in the area. “I hear every year that there is a plan to do this and that, but I don't know where those things are on the ground,” he adds. Haji says that every kebelle in the Zone is having difficulty accessing basic services.
Many residents of the zone agree that the conditions of the roads, bridges and other infrastructures are major problems in Dawa Zone. They believe that if the roads to the rural health centers were better, many lives could have been saved so far. Emergency ambulances cannot reach villages to rescue pregnant women in labor. Family members have to use a motor bike to get a pregnant woman to a waiting ambulance, putting the life of her unborn baby at risk,” adds Haji Bashir.
“The major problem for the delay of those basic projects in the zone were the subsequent administrators of the zone in the former government of the Region and the way they handled things” says Mohamed Abdi Harun, Deputy Head of the Regional Water Resources Bureau. “But now the Regional government has finalized a plan to reach the zone and implement the long-awaited projects.”
The Regional Roads and Transport Authority Head, Mr. Roble also says that the construction of a 39 km long asphalted road has begun and it will connect the districts in the zone. Mr.Roble said: "This will help solve the major problems of the districts in the zone, up on its completion in 6 months time."
"Even though the previous administration's had spent millions of birr for road and other infrastructure projects in the Region, most of these projects failed simply because of lack of quality, corruption and lack of proper designs. Especially because most of those who were given the projects in the past had no experience or capacity to build such huge projects” adds Mr. Roble.
According to the residents, the people of the region have witnessed tremendous changes in terms of good governance, freedom of expression, security sector reforms and fight against corruption since the new government administration came to power.
Mr. Roble says the regional government has made a public bid for almost all government funded projects. “China Communication Construction company (CCCC) has won the first international bid in the history of our region to build Asphalt roads in Jigjiga and selected areas in the region with the total distance of 45km and a price tag of 72 million US dollar.”