CISAL offered a series of courses on governance, leadership, local economic development and other topics delivered by the University of La Guajira and the EAN University. Additional technical assistance on transparency, inclusion, and strategic planning was provided by Canadian municipal experts from Elkford, BC, La Conception, Quebec, Langley, BC, and Sioux Lookout, ON. The technical assistance enabled municipalities to improve services, including water, solid waste management, and environmental education.

A cleaner environment for all

Solid waste was a highly visible problem throughout the Department. The municipality of Fonseca, which manages a landfill that serves neighbouring municipalities, has now created a plan for solid waste management. An Environmental Committee was reactivated to implement the plan and offer environmental education to promote recycling and reducing waste. In Manaure, the SENA and the regional environmental office, trained 16 technicians and implemented public education campaigns to sort waste at the source.

Local Governments more accountable and transparent

Technical assistance from Elkford, BC, has strengthened transparency and accountability in the four partner municipalities. The quality of the information shared has improved and now the Mayors hold public audiences with a large turnout, including both groups that are in favour of the LG and those that are critical. The participation of the community has also led to projects that benefit vulnerable groups. For example, Barrancas, will create a women’s centre, Fonesca has a fund to support victims of conflict and the reinsertion of demobilized groups, and Manaure is building public water basins and wells to support rural and remote indigenous communities.