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CHITRAL: The provincial government’s initiative of community driven local development (CDLD) for the militancy and flood-hit districts of Malakand division will be launched in Chitral from next week. The European Union is giving 80 million Euros for the programme.

An announcement to this effect was made at the introductory session of the programme here on Friday. The meeting was informed that the Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) will be the partner organisation of CDLD to help organise the communities.

MPA and chairman of the district development advisory committee Salim Khan, SRSP programme officer Bahar Ahmed, programme officer engineering Riaz Ahmed, district programme manager Munir Ahmed Saeed and others spoke on the occasion.

They said that CDLD would ensure community participation to ensure transparent and effective use of funds for development of the six districts of Malakand division affected by militancy and floods.

The speakers said that since community members knew best about the needs and issues of their respective areas they could solve the issues if necessary resources were put at their disposal.

“CDLD will change the fate of communities during the coming four years by empowering them financially as they will be independent to choose the projects of their needs,” they said, and added technical assistance of the line department would also be made available where necessary.

The speakers said the programme was designed in such a way that there was no risk of funds embezzlement.

They said that people of a village could put forward proposals seeking funds for a specific development scheme ranging from Rs0.5 million to Rs2.5 million at a time. 

People could apply for another scheme after the completion of the first one.

The speakers said that CDLD would cover all the union councils of Chitral.

On the occasion, MPA Salim Khan appreciated the government for selecting SRSP as partner organisation to implement the EU-funded initiative. He said that SRSP had gained credibility in rural development as it ensured judicious utilisation of funds.

He asked the community members to take full advantage of the initiative.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2015

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