Hargeisa, 3 January 2018. Mayors from across Somaliland have reviewed a key local government law at a meeting in Hargeisa at the end of December, which was facilitated by the Somaliland’s Parliament's Committee on Internal Affairs, Security and Defence, and the Somaliland Ministry of the Interior, with the support of the UN. The law, which is called the “Regions and Districts Administration Law” lays out the basis for local governments and districts to carry out their own administration and to deliver services such as roads, water access, education and health care to their communities.
The review of the law is part of an ongoing legal analysis by the Somaliland Government and the Somaliland Solicitors General’s Office, of a number of laws underlying the process for decentralisation and local government service delivery. The legal review aims to ensure more efficient delivery of services by local governments and is being carried out with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Somaliland ministries, under the UN Joint Programme on Local Governance (JPLG).
Feedback given from the district Mayors on the law included revisions needed to clarify functions and roles of decentralized service delivery, and the amendments needed to clear up fiscal queries so that the local government can fully carry out its work.
It is expected that following the consultation with the Mayors, a second consultation will be held with sector ministries such as those on Health, Water, Education, Roads, and the Environment, and with women and youth groups, for their input into the law. Following the consultative and legal review process it is aimed that the revised law will then go for approval to the Somaliland Parliament.
The UN Joint Programme on Local Governance is implemented by UNDP, UNCDF, UNICEF, UNHABITAT, and ILO, in partnership with the Somaliland Government, and with funding from Denmark, the European Union, Norway, the UN Peacebuilding Fund, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and USAID.