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Problem in the access to municipal services


Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

The Gori Information Center surveyed what the local population knows about the municipal services, how accessible the services are for them and how they evaluate the work of the local self-government. The survey report was presented on September 27 and representatives of the local government and nongovernmental organizations attended it. 

According to the survey, the engagement of the population in the mapping process of the priorities of the municipal services is very low. The survey also singled out the services, which were never applied by the interviewed people: issuing construction permission, co-funding program for communities, civil budget program. When people were asked how well informed they were about the decisions of the self-government, 49% of them answered that they were not informed; 22% is more or less informed and only 2,7% of the interviewed people were informed about them. The authors said they interviewed 1 057 individuals in the city of Gori and in municipality villages. The survey results demonstrate the miscarriages with regard to accessibility of municipal services. 

“The survey showed that citizens are minimally engaged in the decision-making process and it does not exceed 10%. Also, the population has very little information about ongoing processes in the self-government; 70% of the population does not know what decisions are made by the local government. Besides that, the population is less interested to get engaged in the process in future either,” the author of the survey Lika Sanikidze said, who added that nihilism of the population is caused by unimplemented promises of the local government. However, she said, 7, 9% of the interviewed people wish to participate in the decision-making process; while 59% of them is not interested in it at all. 

The interviewed people positively evaluated the following municipal services: waste management, rehabilitation of local roads, street illumination and transport. As for the services, which were mostly disliked by the people, they are: poorly working sewage, drainage and irrigation systems, social services, creation of adapted environment for the people with disabilities, regulation of street trade. 

Gori municipality mayor Konstantine Tavzarashvili, who attended the presentation, stated that they improved the services, which were disliked by the population. 

“We saw where we made mistakes and we will pay more attention to those fields. We will take the survey results into consideration and will continue cooperation with the nongovernmental organizations to ensure that our services better meet the interests and needs of our population,” Konstantine Tavzarashvili said. 

The survey also names the services, which were evaluated as most accessible for the Gori population, but the residents of the municipality villages complained about it. 

The chairman of the Gori Information Center Mikheil Chitadze said, the residents of village and the city have different opinions about one and the same services because of their diverse needs. 
“The survey revealed that the level of service provision is very different in the city and villages. The most problems are serious and need reforms because they are caused by the low level of decentralization in Georgia; consequently, the people have problems to access the services,” Chitadze said. 

The problem of municipal services is still acute in the IDP settlements of the Gori municipality.

“IDP population has almost the same needs and problems as the population in the villages. They have limited or no access to basic municipal services, which is essential for their daily life: water supply and transport. The IDPs say that the drinking water supply system is not working properly; the internal roads are in poor conditions which cause problems of transportation. The IDPs complain that the public transport runs only twice a day and if they need to travel to the municipality center some other time throughout the day, they need to walk several kilometers to the highway,” the survey reads. 

The report lists the miscarriages and progress in the municipal services in Gori. The authors say the Gori Municipality City Hall shall ensure active engagement of the population during the identification of the priorities of the municipal services. 

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