A regional Colombian program that directly employees citizens to construct roads in their local areas has governors from other departments scrambling to implement similar schemes.
The new initiative is an innovative partnership between local government and its citizens that began in Yopal, the capital city of Colombia’s eastern department of Casanare. The initial project has an estimated cost of $2.2 million, will take nine months to complete and is expected to create at least 100 jobs.
“The departmental government provides the materials and machinery, while the community contributes the labor directly, and they then receive remuneration from the government,” explained the governor of Casanare, Nelson Marino.
By bypassing a construction company, costs will be reduced, jobs will be created and the community will benefit from having new roads.
The program has supposedly been presented at summits between departmental governors and has been well received, with some governors expressing strong interest in duplicating the project in their own departments.
Government initiatives such as the above could prove to be a valuable tool in combating Colombia’s nexus of unemployment, inequality and informal employment.