Youth of Kisenso supported by ActionAid DRC through its P4C Youth inspirator, Elliot Tagarira, held an exchange session on major problems associated with lack of access to basic public services and the various consequences on the well-being of the youth, on Friday 12 August 2016, as part of the celebration of International Youth Day. The meeting was held with the Deputy Mayor of the Kisenso Town, 2 representatives of national structures in charge of the water supply (REGIDESO), electricity (SNEL) and youth of Kisenso; to discuss about the challenges regarding the right to access to basic services, seeking accountability from the local authorities and to find solutions. This activity followed the actions taken in 2015 by these young people in developing their commitment plan for the development of their community.
The dialogue took 2 hours in which the youth of Kisenso demanded the respective local authorities of the duty bearer, concerning their rights and expectations regarding water and electricity provision amongst other needs. Indeed, the youth raised crucial questions in seeking accountability of the local authorities in delivering the aforesaid critical public services and among them; and the safety and security of the city where Women cannot walk in streets as of 8:00 PM The youth went further to ask for the local authorities development plan concerning public service delivery in Kisenso; the local authorities promised them that according to their plan they would resolve all the water and electricity challenges in Kisenso by 2020.
Other questions focused on budget tracking; seeking knowledge of public budgets allocated to the 2 government structures (REGIDESO and SNEL), to understand the current problems being faced by respective government structure to achieve the needs of the community and what are the available solutions and the concrete realization of the promises made by the local government. In that note the representatives of SNEL Mr Benkanga Likofata Father and Mr Lubuele Jose of REGIDESO made a promise to change this situation by 2020.
The local authorities understood the concerns of young people and reassured them that their structures are making great effort to ensure continuous service of water and electricity to help reduce the related challenges such as insecurity, studying conditions for young people among other things.
At the end of discussions, in order to seek accountability and keep track of the promised development by local authorities; the youth created an accountability committee. Hence the committee is responsible for all sorts of accountability and progress tracking based on the promises made by the local authorities; an accountability plan to guide its operation will be developed in the coming days.
The Deputy Mayor of the Kisenso Town, Mr Zephyrin Kindeke was delighted to see that youth are truly aware of the challenges affecting the development of their community and that youth have decided to take their destiny in their own hands. "Thanks to several trainings given to them by AARDC; today's youth is a youth who demand their rights from the duty bearer in solidarity and influence the change they want to see and they become people to take charge of their own destiny. We are pleased that young people have understood that the development of this community should be done with their support, " he said.
Further to the above, the two representatives of SNEL and REGIDESO intervened and reassured the youth for their availability to support them in this joint development initiative. They also mentioned that the youth involvement is necessary to achieve common objectives.
A group photo closed this day of rich exchanges which gave hope to young people about the future development of their community.