Interview with Dr. Maha ElTahir, consultant with the Sudan Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation
Question: What are the greatest challenges facing your city?
The greatest challenge that we face as a city is the economic instability and migration from the conflict in Darfur. We have a lot of development plans at the moment and looking for enhanced Public Private Partnerships to finance them.
The city is growing and we have a project in place to build a ring road around the city to relieve the traffic and plans to boost services outside the city centre.
The National Finance Ministry is supporting us on this.
Question: How has the Making Cities Resilient Initiative helped you to overcome these challenges?
The Making Cities Resilient Initiative helps us a lot because it helps us to identify gaps. Then it helps us design and create appropriate projects to fill them. It helps us to know we are on the right path.
The workshops are very useful. When you see others’ attitudes you can learn a lot about how they deal with different issues and see projects that you can use in your own action plans. Plus consultation with the UN helps us to understand our activities in the bigger picture.
Question: What stage are you in the process?
We are in the draft stages of the action plan
Question: What are the biggest advantages that you have seen from the project?
As a result of the MCR Initiative we have been forging links with other ministries which has given us the knowledge of the gaps that existed due to a distance in the way we were previously working. We have started working as a group, brainstorming with each other and we have increased coordination. We have also generated specific contacts for exchanging data between ministries. This has streamlined our efforts.
Question: Do you find linking your work to the Sustainable Development Goals useful?
The link to sustainability is very useful. If things are not sustainable, you will repeat disasters many times. We have not used the SDG and Sendai Framework but now we will create the structures to do so. We have been using the City Resilience Scorecard as a tool to strengthen our systems and we have created a Balance Scorecard Committee to monitor work.
Question: What next for your city?
We need to finalise our action plan, but before that we need to carry out more workshops to help build capacity to continue our interactive working and agree on how to manage the design of the plan. We also need to have inputs on the KPIs, the financing from the PPP and how to prepare our implementation.
Note: Since recording the interview Khartoum has successfully finalized their Action Plan, and is now working to have it endorsed.
Khartoum, Sudan, is one of 20 cities taking part in the “Making Cities Sustainable and Resilient” project, funded by the European Commission and jointly led by UNDRR to support municipalities to develop and implement disaster risk reduction action plans.
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