At the occasion of a visit to the remote village of Al Naser, in Rafah, Al Mezan was informed by residents about lack of basic services.
The Training and Mass Communication unit organized a meeting on the problems of the town with both the Municipality and the Electricity Company.
Number of participants 54 Percentage of women that attended 4% (3 out of the 54).
Key Speakers: Jbara Abu Thabit, Head of the village Council.
Hashim Uwaida, Director of the Electricity Company in Rafah.
Percentage of women that spoke-up None (0%) Summary of issues raised by the public Due to inadequate electricity services in this area such as the non-connection of numerous houses and high connection fees, residents use illegal and unsafe connections to their neighbors and relatives.
They requested that something be done about this situation Residents requested an interlocutor to discuss these problems.
Residents pay municipal fees, especially the construction fees, but do not receive receipts or official documents.
This is a problem because all the other services require these documents.
As a result, they don,t have access to many services.
The village lacks many services and important institutions, such as health, youth and cultural centers.
The municipality should have plans to avail these services.
Residents from certain neighborhoods claimed not to be a part of any municipality.
They consequently do not have access to any services.
The Ministry of Local Government (MLG) should solve this problem.
The village lacks adequate drinking water.
Residents depend on private water-wells, which are basically used for agriculture.
Summary of answers given by the guest speakers The municipality is not responsible for the electricity services but has assisted in many cases in this village to connect them to the network.
Due to a severe lack of funds, the municipality depends on foreign funding of its projects.
This means that it does not have full control over the projects.
The municipality has not received the approved structure of the village from the MLG.
Consequently, the municipality cannot issue final construction permissions and other documents.
Residents who were given permits and paid the fees will not be asked to pay any extra fees when the documents are issues.
The Al Nasser village council is ready to help the residents of the isolated area to contact the MLG and other municipalities to solve their problem.
They can decide which municipality they want to join or establish their own local council.
Any contacts they want to make can be done from the municipality of Al Naser.
The Electricity Company office in Rafah is prepared to discuss the solution for their relevant problems.
However, there are fixed procedures that should be followed prior to connecting any area with electricity networks.
As the area is not very populated currently, the company is willing to take a share 40% of the total cost.
Potential residents will pay this share in the future.
The municipality is working on a drinking water-well project in the village.
The needs are expected to be met soon.
The Municipality is always open for any complaints and to listen to any problems.
Planned and undertaken follow-up of issues raised The Center contacted the MLG, the municipality and the Electricity Company main office and put the problems discussed in the meeting before them.
In its messages, the Center urged them to uphold people's welfare to the extent of their capacity.
Messages were also sent to the municipalities in the area asking them to provide services for the people in the none municipal area.
Actual improvements achieved, if any Several individual problems related to electricity and municipality services were solved directly after the meeting.
People were made aware of the procedures they need to follow to solve other problems.
Summary of evaluation forms of participants and speakers Participants said the meeting was successful as it met their direct needs.
In the evaluation forms, a great majority of them considered the theme, speakers, time and place as excellent or vary good.
Many of them highlighted the importance of the Center's follow up and availability in the area to make sure promises are met by the speakers.