The move to clear the way for the hinterland community of Mahdia in Region Eight to become a town, before May 26, 2016 may be delayed by the lack of a functioning local government system.
The remaining three communities – Lethem, Mabaruma and Bartica however, remain on target and the Ministry of Communities has been visiting and holding consultations as the process progresses.
According to a GINA report, Minister within the Ministry of Communities Dawn Hastings-Williams explained that the lack of local government organs such as municipalities and neighbourhood democratic councils (NDCs) in Mahdia is hindering the May 26 deadline set out for the community to attain township status.
“We’re putting Madhia on hold for now because of these challenges,” the Minister said. “It is not that we’re going to leave them out, but they are going to come on board a little later,” she added.
The lack of the Local Government system for managing and developing the community is hampering the administration in identifying and implementing needed projects such as roads, bridges, playgrounds, parks, and sanitary landfills, projects that are critical to the community’s transformation into a town. She explained that the Ministry is awaiting the formation of such councils to proceed with movement of the community towards township.
Not having the Local government system in place before this happens, will be a setback, as these councils are important to the system and their operations allow for the citizens to participate in the decision-making process. It also allows for identifying the needs of citizens and delivery of services, Minister Hastings-Williams explained.
She noted that in the absence of the systems, any decision made prior to completing the process, would have been made from some other body of persons that probably did not have the same interest or knowledge in the community’s affairs.