Preparation of draft development plans for 1500 villages
Major General Mahmoud Sharawi, Minister of Local Development, revealed that the ministry has completed coordination with the governorates, the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Housing, Utilities, Urban Communities and other service ministries and drafted integrated development plans for 1500 villages in 51 administrative centers in 20 governorates within the new stage of the President's initiative to develop the Egyptian countryside "A life of dignity", which was announced by the President of the Republic and implemented under his direct auspices and under the supervision of the Prime Minister.
Major General Mahmoud Sharawi pointed out that the Ministry of Local Development started work as soon as it received the assignment of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on November 29, 2020, as the Ministry implemented the directives of the Prime Minister on December 2, 2020 regarding the translation of presidential mandates and the choice of administrative centers targeted for the new phase of a decent life initiative, after it was agreed to expand the scope of work to include full administrative centers and not only the development of limited rural communities, to ensure the provision of integrated packages of services and to ensure that all rural residents benefit from Centre scope.
The Minister of Local Development added that the choice of centers came after coordination with the governorates and central ministries and the application of the agreed development priority criteria, which included the proportion of the center's rural population to the total population, the proportion of the center's rural poor, the proportion of the center's rural population, the number of villages with more than 55% poverty in the center, the concentration of the villages of the lifeboats, illiteracy rates, female-headed households and coverage of drinking water and sanitation services.
Sharawi said that the Ministry of Local Development operates under the umbrella of the Supreme Committee formed by the Council of Ministers, which includes all relevant ministries and bodies. Noting that the Prime Minister had issued his decision No. 2700 of 2020 on the structure of the initiative, the decision gave the Ministry of Local Development the task of chairing the ministerial committee responsible for the infrastructure and services sector, which includes the Ministry of Housing and the Armed Forces Engineering Corps as key partners and responsible for implementation, It also includes all ministries, service agencies and bodies responsible for infrastructure sectors, and the Ministry has taken the initiative, in coordination with the governorates, to form local planning committees in each governorate, including all directorates and utility and service partners, with a view to immediately starting to draw up integrated development plans in each center, in order to ensure the implementation of the presidential mandate to provide all required services to the citizens of these centers of high quality.
The Minister of Local Development revealed that integrated development plans in the centers were developed in a participatory manner through coordination with all executive bodies. Currently, the governorates began presenting them to citizens and consulting them through effective participatory mechanisms. Sharawi added that the governorates were mandated to form community development committees and popular forums at the district and village level to strengthen communication with citizens, implement presidential mandates and involve citizens in monitoring the implementation of projects implemented in their centers.
With regard to the integrated development plans for the target centres in the governorates, the Minister of Local Development explained that the plans include all the infrastructure projects to be implemented in parallel, namely sewage projects, the extension, consolidation, replacement and renovation of drinking water networks, the construction of natural gas networks and modernized communications networks, the paving of main streets and roads connecting villages and the provision of public lighting services.
Sharawi added that development plans also include the provision of education, health, youth, veterinary and social solidarity services, based on the application of planning standards for these services. The planning guides for the services published in 2015 are being coordinated with the Urban Planning Authority, The current programme is the first large-scale practical application of these standards, confirming the Presidential Initiative's adoption of a scientific approach to planning and implementation, and emphasizing complementarity and building on the joint efforts of all state institutions.
Sharawi revealed a distribution map of targeted centers, including 7 in Assiut Governorate, 7 in Sohag, 6 in Beheira, 5 in Qena, 5 in Minya, 2 each in Aswan, Luxor Menoufia, Fayoum, Beni Suef and Giza governorates, and 1 each in Wadi New, Qalioubia, Dakahlia, Alexandria, Gharbiyah, Sharqiyah, Ismailia, Damietta and Kafr el-Sheikh governorates.
The Minister of Local Development concluded his remarks, saying, "Local contractors will be involved in infrastructure projects to provide jobs for local employment in the projects that will be implemented, especially in the targeted villages, thus contributing to giving a strong boost to the local economy in the targeted centers and villages. These projects belong to the people of the villages and must work together with the State to speed up their implementation and overcome any obstacles to their implementation."
Translated by : Hanaa Mohamed Saleh