Small towns need qualified, committed professionals, Ministry says

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The Minister of Urban and Development and Housing (MoUDH) says the administration wants to provide better solid waste management, and shorter wait times for land deeds and construction licenses.  According to a study by the ministry, the lack of a policy framework, under-spending of municipal funds, not evaluating or monitoring how they are utilized and the skill level of employees have all made improving service delivery difficult. To change this, the ministry plans to update standards for managing land, and dry waste, as well as public and private toilets.

Tesfaye Tarkegne, Muncipality Service Director at MoUDH says more committed, qualified professionals are needed. He urged municipalities to hire engineers and other technicians who construct the best infrastructure so it will last a long time.

He added that municipalities should maintain infrastructure properly to enable state properties to last longer.

Currently 44 cities across Ethiopia have fees for trash collection, municipal user fees, profits from municipality operated utilities and service charges from municipal services and programs.

According to Tesfaye a new evaluation paper is being prepared in which the performance of the municipality is judged by customer survey results.

‘’The questionnaire is important because it shows the strengths and challenges in municipal service delivery so when we look at the results we will be able to plan how to serve the public better and make them more happy. In turn, locations with better survey results will get more funding from their respective regions,” he said.

More than 6 billion birr annually is budgeted for the development of cities. Poor communities still face major challenges despite the budget allocation.