Even basic services interrupted by economic impact of the coronavirus
Municipalities across the country have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, leading many of them to struggle with the delivery of even basic services, mayors said during a webinar on Wednesday.
They urged the government to give priority to the delivery of essential services worst affected by the pandemic.
The webinar was arranged by the Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB) to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on delivery of public services in municipalities.
Khalid Hasan Yead, general secretary of MAB and mayor of Madaripur Municipality, said: “The impact of Covid-19 on service delivery in municipalities was enormous. There were many hurdles to ensuring basic services such as water supply, birth and death registration, sanitation, and solid waste management when the government imposed the countrywide lockdown in the country.
“Besides, the processes of planning, budgeting, and procurement by municipalities were also interrupted.”
Mayor of Kaliakair Municipality Habibur Rahman said: “During the pandemic, the worst affected section was the urban poor as the municipality was unable to deliver services properly to them.”
He also said that many people lost their income during the pandemic and the support of the government was needed to rehabilitate them.
General Secretary and Professor of Jahangirnagar University Adil Mohammed Khan said the government should take up a policy to improve the situation by recovering economic losses.
Mustakim Billah Faruqui, additional secretary of the Local Government Division, said: “We will take the experience of our mayors and their hurdles in delivering civic services into consideration, and try to take measures to ease their hurdles.”
Md Abdul Goni, executive president of MAB and mayor of Savar Municipality, and Md Ershadul Haque, national project director (livelihood improvement) of the Urban Poor Communities (LIUPC) Project under the Local Government Division, also spoke at the program.