21 May 2019, Bago: The inauguration ceremony for the newly constructed rural concrete road in Kawa Township, Bago Region was attended by Bago Region Chief Minister, H.E. U Win Thein, Bago Region Planning and Finance Minister H.E. U Nyunt Shwe, British Ambassador to Myanmar H.E. Mr. Dan Chugg, UNDP Myanmar Resident Representative Mr. Peter Batchelor, UK Aid and UNDP staff, and township officials and local community members.
The 7.6-furlong road will benefit more than 20,000 people from 12 villages with improved access to health, education and livelihoods because of the connection to the Yangon-Bago main road. Additionally, more than 250 female garment factory workers commute daily to the factories in Bago using this road.
Development of the road was prioritized in a township participatory planning process for 2018-19 under UNDP’s Township Democratic Local Governance (TDLG) Project funded by UK Aid in collaboration with the Bago Region Government.
In his remarks the Bago Chief Minister said, “The concrete road project is an example of good democratic practice. Bago Region Government would like to extend such kind of practice to the remaining townships of the region in collaboration with UNDP and UK Aid”.
The British Ambassador in his speech said, “This road is an important symbol of a new way of working between the local government and the people in Bago – one that presents a model for the country as a whole. I am proud to be here today, and to see for myself the importance of UK Aid support to this programme”.
The UNDP Myanmar Resident Representative said, “The TDLG project has demonstrated that it is possible to let local people, through their elected representatives, have a voice in local development priorities. It has also shown that it is possible to decentralize funds for local development”.
Initially five townships were selected in Bago Region under the TDLG project to pilot a participatory township planning process. Based on the success to date of the project, the Bago Region Government decided in December 2018 to allocate 56 billion kyats from the regional budget as Townships Grants for all 28 townships in Bago Region and has requested UNDP to provide technical assistance for the planning process in all townships in Bago. The Bago Region Government is the first subnational government in Myanmar to make a decision of this kind.
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