CHITRAL: Members of the District Council came down hard on bids by some quarters to get the Community Driven Local Development (CDLD) programme of the KP government executed through any non-local NGO in Chitral.
During the recent three-day session of the council, the members expressed serious concerns over the shortlisting of a non-local NGO that doesn’t exist in Chitral nor has any experience of working in Chitral for implementing the community programme.
Addressing the session, Maulana Mehmudul Hassan of the JUI said it was astonishing that a Swat-based NGO was being considered for implementing the social mobilization part of the EU-funded mega community driven programme.
He referred to the shortlisting criteria set for the selection of the social mobilization partner by concerned quarters and said the NGO namely Environmental Protection Society (EPS) was in no way capable to be shortlisted for this huge programme.
The EPS does not have the capacity or an established and well-equipped office in Chitral. Besides, it has no experience of implementing similar programmes in the district. How a virtual setup can carry out such a programme.
He said in the past a non-local organization named THRIVE was hired to implement the CIADP but unfortunately six million rupees of the Norwegian funds could not be utilized in the backward area and the programme was packed up.
He said implementing the CDLD through EPS seemed to be another such attempt and communities would be the loser at the end.
Molana Hassan added that it was being claimed that EPS had given low rates in the bidding but question arises on the quality of its performance. He also said EPS had its partnership with a local network of Chitral and it seemed that the local network would work as sub-contractor which would be the utmost failure and misuse of funds.
He demanded transparency and meritocracy in hiring of any NGO for the CDLD.
Rehmat Ghazi of the PTI said for the last three years SRSP had been working as a social mobilization partner for CDLD and its work was appreciable and keeping in view the experience and well presence in the district SRSP must be given the contract.
Ghulam Mustafa of the PTI appreciated the performance of the SRSP as a social mobilization partner of CDLD and said hiring of a non-local and small NGO would definitely hamper the programme and ultimately the communities will suffer. He said the concerned authorities must abstain from any kind of experiment at this stage.
Molana Abdur Rehman of the JUI also demanded transparency and meritocracy in the selection of the CDLD partner. He added that the concerned authorities must investigate how a local and less-resourced organization had been shortlisted for the CDLD.
Abdul Qayum of the APML also criticized the shortlisting of EPS and said such a decision would hamper the CDLD programme in Chitral.
Earlier, in his budget speech district nazim Maghfirat Shah said a few organizations were trying to occupy the development sector but this attitude would not be allowed. He said for the social mobilization component of CDLD, a new NGO – EPS – was being considered by the provincial local government department and “we must appreciate this decision.”
However, following his speech, most of the members rejected the plea and contended that the Swat-based small NGO could not successfully implement the EU-funded CDLD programme and in the end all communities of the district would suffer the mismanagement.