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Somalia still in talks with Italy over Shabelle river funds-Planning Minister

Storyline:National News

Planning Minister Gamal Hassan has dismissed media reports that the government failed to submit funding proposals leading to withdrawal of funding by Italy meant for rehabilitation of Shabelle river banks.

Reacting to a story carried by Italian newspaper la Republica that Italian government withdrew the funds, Hassan said the proposals had been submitted and discussions between the two governments are still underway.

“The FGS & the Italian Gov’t have been discussing the possibility of providing support for a flood protection project,” the minister said in a tweet.

The project proposals, Hassan said ‘has been submitted to the Italian Gov’t for their considerations & the discussions r still ongoing. No project has been approved/signed so far.”

According to the la Republica, the Ministry of Agriculture failed to submit the proposals in time forcing the Italian government to withhlold the funds and deferred the spending to 2020.

The funds were meant to revamp the banks of Shabelle river and build dams to establish a long term solution to the perennial floods in Beletweyne.