Achievement of local democracy

In the implementation of decentralization policy by delegating some power to the commune council, the commune councils made remarkable achievements for instance the elaboration of 5 years development plan and are in the process of implementing it step by step although some difficulties have been encountered.

Mr. Hor Sophal, commune chief of Boeung Pruol, Tbaung Khmum District, Kampong Cham province, said in the implementation of the development plan, the commune restored 350 meters of irrigation canal and dikes, dug wells and put the repair of road as its priority. As the region is flooded during the raining season and does not have enough water during the dry season, the commune requested the assistance from the Hydraulic and Meteorology Ministry to dig the canal more deeper to keep it as water tank for dry season plantation. The commune expects the project can be commenced next year which will improve the living conditions of the population in the areas.

In the educational field, the commune plans to build 2 buildings with 6 classrooms. In the agricultural field, it will look for a high productivity rice seed for exportation and organize a veterinary team to vaccinate the animals. The commune will hold meetings at the population's house to teach them about gender equality.

In the meantime, the commune also faces difficulties in performing their duty. Due to the natural disaster, the population cannot plant rice or other subsidiary plantations such as corn, tobacco, sesame, that make impossible to the commune to generate any revenue except the one provided by the government. The capacity of the commune council members is limited and requires more training on management, laws, problem solving and reconciliation procedures.

In its assistance to build the capacity of the commune councils, the Khmer Institute of Democracy included the commune among its target group to consolidate the implementation of decentralization policy. In June 2003, the Institute carried out workshops on democracy and human rights for the population, village chiefs and council members in the commune totaling 120 persons and 6 villages.

In the implementation of the local democracy, the commune chief thinks it is a good decision because all activities of the commune council are transparent, the population participate in all activities of the commune such as the elaboration of development plan, its financial contribution, its constructive suggestions for the development of the commune thus making the population to feel happy with the administration of the commune council which serves the real interest of the population.



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