Planning Workshop Held in Benishangul Gumuz region
Benishangul Gumuz region has organized a workshop to review the 2014/15 performance and plan for 2015/16 regarding the implementation of Community Managed Project (CMP) from 23-25 June 2015 in Assosa. All concerned bodies from the regional sector bureaus, two zones’ and four districts’ sector offices participated in the workshop.
The event was also graced by the presence of Mr. Adigo Amsaya and Mr. Teferi Abebe - the head of Bureau of Water, Mines and Energy and deputy-head of Bureau of Finance and Economic Development respectively. Adigo Amsaya said, in his opening remarks, that the workshop creates an opportunity to review achievements and challenges of implementing CMP. In planning for the next fiscal year, he calls upon the participants to build on the strengths and improve on the weakness of the outgoing budget year.
Reviewing the achievements, challenges and measures taken to mitigate those challenges faced in 2014/15 budget year were the discussion points of the first day of the workshop. COWASH districts (i.e. Bambasi, Oda, Agalo Meti and Balo Jiganfoy) have been promoting the Community Managed Project approach, and appraising the received applications. However most of the districts have not been able to start the actual construction yet apart from Bambasi district where 18 water points are under construction. Procurement of vehicle and office equipment has also been done.
It was reported that the performance of the CMP implementation was slowed down in the COWASH districts mainly due to a delay in approval of 2014/15 plans and budget transfer. “The implementation of CMP was regrettably very slow. Inexperience of districts coupled with bad preparations hindered the implementation of the projects,” the bureau head quoted as saying.
Another major hurdle that highly affected the performance of the outgoing budget year is a delay in the approval of the contextualized WASHCO Finance, Procurement and Property Management Manual. CMP accounts at the local microfinance institutions were not opened as per the timeframe mentioned in the original plan.
Mr. Amsaya and participants, however, consider these challenges as a learning curve from which the region, zones and districts take important lessons that might be useful in planning in the 2015/16. COWASH zones and districts along with region, emphasized the need of unusual urgency and commitment to deliver the plans of the project which is final year. It was also decided that carry-over activities from the previous budget should be finalized until August 2015.
Though the final plan is to be approved by the regional COWASH Steering Committee with whom the ultimate decision presides,each district in their respective draft plan come up with increased number of kebeles to implement CMP. Similarly, the budget for the implementation of CMP will be increased. It was also stated in plans that regional and zonal support for the districts will grow.
In concluding the workshop, improving communications at all levels, transferring budgets timely and delivering needed assistance in a timely fashion were pinpointed for the success of the next year’s plan. It was strongly recommended that district and WASH team should review the performance implementation of CMP regularly, and identify and address challenges encountered immediately in the process. Improved synergies and coordination among the sector offices at various levels were also considered crucial in the plans is to be delivered.