Hargeisa, 5 October 2016--On 20 September 2016, UN-Habitat conducted a technical workshop in Hargeisa, Somaliland, to present and discuss the urban master plan of Gabiley, a small but important agricultural town in Somaliland.
The plan is the first of its kind, as it is aligned with the Urban Regulatory Framework (a policy document and a practical handbook summarizing urban planning standards and principles) adopted by Somaliland’s National Urban Planning Committee in April 2016. Participants included the Mayor of Gabiley Mohamed Amin Omar Abdi , the Executive Secretary of Gabiley Council Abdulrahman Nur Abokor, heads of various departments, councillors, engineers, and representatives of utility companies in Gabiley.
The mayor kicked off the workshop and was followed by a series of presentations on the urban master plan and an intense discussion on a range of issues, particularly on how to implement the plan and the urban projects contained therein. The workshop concluded with an agreed road map for the consultation process and the adoption of the plan by Gabiley Council.
The draft plan is based on socio-economic and spatial data drawn from the Gabiley geographic information service database for property and land management. It not only has proposed land uses and the main road network, but also contains a set of thematic area maps that present existing roads, the water supply, and social services. The plan also outlines strategies to preserve agricultural land on the southern side and to encourage economic activities along the Hargeisa–Boroma highway, including detailed options for developing a bus terminal.
In the coming weeks, based on the agreed consultation road map, the draft plan will be displayed in the municipal offices. Consultative meetings with local neighbourhoods and business communities will be organized; in parallel, the Urban Regulatory Framework coordinator at the Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Transport will have meetings with the line ministries represented in the National Urban Planning Committee.
UN-Habitat will incorporate the outcomes from this consultation exercise into the draft plan, with a view to finalizing the plan in October 2016. UN-Habitat supports various activities under the UN Joint Programme on Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery (JPLG), including training district engineers, supporting the Gabiley Land Committee, and street naming and house numbering exercises.