Chimoio, Mozambique – A three-day seminar was held in April for the Local Councils, mayors and aldermen of the cities of Chimoio, Gondola and Manica. AWEPA and the Frisian Urban Sanitation Programme (FUSP) organised this event to illustrate the current municipal legislation on sanitation as well as the overall functioning of Local Councils. The seminar was particularly intended for newly elected representatives, as several political positions changed since the last Local Councils’ elections in Mozambique. The seminar provided a comprehensive introduction on local legislation and the responsibilities of the Local Councils, while the more experienced members saw it as an opportunity to brush up on their knowledge.
The seminar, which was chaired by Rosita Alberto, project officer at AWEPA Mozambique, was attended by over 100 local council members, three mayors and aldermen. AWEPA facilitated the sessions on the first two days. The first day of the seminar addressed the legislation and organisation of a Local Council, whereas the second day addressed planning and financial management. Throughout the two days, the organisation, structure and the functioning of a Local Council were elucidated by the means of presentations, discussions and exercises. This was done in order to clarify the prerogatives of local councilors and the way Local Councils should operate.
FUSP facilitated the sessions on the third and last day of the conference while linking to the theme of sanitation. Participants received a presentation on the importance of sanitation and FUSP’s work. Guest speaker Háfido Abacassamo from Maputo gave a detailed introduction on what sanitation entails and why it is an important topic. Afterwards, Tjitske Leemans (Coordinator at FUSP), Elsa Macie (who addressed school sanitation) and Ana Jackson (who addressed household sanitation) informed the participants about the work accomplished by FUSP. An important goal of the day was to discuss how the Local Councils plan on maintaining the investments made by FUSP and the way they will continue implementing initiatives once the project will reach an end. With the information they gained from the seminar, Councilors are better equipped to keep the issue of sanitation high on the political agenda of the country as well as to keep working for the four coming years with new and updated knowledge.
The cooperation between AWEPA and FUSP, which started on 2012, aims to strengthen the capacity of officially elected representatives in Mozambique in order to improve the levels of sanitation.