Gardez City Mayor Interview
My name is Esmatullah Khalid; I am from Khak-e-Jabar district of Kabul. After completing my education I started working with different departments of Government and now I am working as the Gardez city Mayor providing services to my people.
Esmatullah Khalid, Gardez city Mayor
2. Tell us about your city, the population and administrative structures?
The Gardez city is composed of 5 districts, out of which, currently three districts are active and we trying to activate the two remaining districts. The city population is 200,000 people.
3. What are the people saying about city services and security? What is your perception of safety and security here?
About the Afghanistan’s security situation, Gardez city is one of the safest cities. The traders are interested in working, and people have broad access to urban services. We try to bring positive changes to city by cleaning it and making it beautiful. In this regard, many different Community Development Councils (CDC), Committees, Discussion boards and Municipality Councils are in place to prioritize the needs and problems of people.
4. What is the main occupation of most city residents? Is the economy thriving?
The main activity of Gardez residents is trade. Most of the residents, however, work as laborers in other countries because of lack of job opportunities and because development programs are not in this city anymore.
5. What are people’s expectations from the government and international organizations?
Mainly, people expect the Government to invest the country’s budget in infrastructure projects that provide job opportunities and long-term benefits.
6. What are the basic needs of the people and how is the municipality providing for such needs?
The basic and urgent needs of the residents are job opportunities and improvement of the economic situation. The municipality provides job opportunities by implementing city cleaning and greening services. Besides, this municipality provides public awareness of city cleaning and greening through Gardez media agencies. With the support of UN-Habitat’s Clean and Green Cities (CGC) programme we plan to create job opportunities to the residents of Gardez city and to make the city clean and green.
7. What are the main challenges for the Government in this regard?
Lack of knowledge of modern technology is the main challenge of the government sector.
8. What do you know about Clean and Green City Programme? What is your expectation from this programme?
The Clean and Green Cities (CGC) programme is an effective initiative which creates job opportunities for residents and focuses more on People’s Process strategy where people can prioritize their needs and implement them through Community Development Councils (CDC). Our expectation from this programme and from UN-Habitat is to implement more projects in this city as this city is less developed, compared to other cities.
9. What is your plan for supporting people’s livelihoods? How do you build consensus between people’s visions and municipal programs?
We have the plan to develop the residential area for Government employees, school techers, Non-governmental employees for both livelihood and residences. We suggest to people that city should be for the enjoyment of all citizens and we want people to contribute to its cleaning and beautification. In building consensus we are open to effective feedback and participation of all residents.
Clean and Green Cities (CGC) Programme 2017