Programmes Officer for Kalondolondo Project Jephter Mwanza has said his organization will lobby the World Bank to consider increasing the money allocated towards environmental management in Local Development Fund projects in the country.
Mwanza made the remarks in Chiradzulu recently following an assessment report by Centre for Alternative for Victimized Women and Children (CAVWOC) on how Chiradzulu district council implemented teachers’ houses project funded by LDF last year. LDF projects are jointly bankrolled by World Bank and Malawi Government.
Out of the total project cost, a teachers’ house and a school block project is allocated k50,000 each for environmental management.
Construction of school blocks and teachers’ houses for the past years required communities to mould and burn bricks, an activity that destroys the environment.
“Looking at the damage that is done following construction of school blocks and a teachers’ houses, K50,000 is too little to facilitate management of the environment,” said Mwanza.
Mwanza said district councils produce good environmental management plans but they are not fully implemented due to financial constraints.
“Councils and communities are always asked to come up with environment management plans as a precondition to have their projects funded. When the project is funded, only a small percentage of the total cost of the project goes towards environment management,’’ lamented Mwanza.
Mwanza believed that allocation of more funds towards environmental management in construction projects will only demonstrate the seriousness that development partners have on environment issues.
On the other hand, Mwanza said his organization appreciate the directive by World Bank that from this year onwards, LDF construction projects will be done using cement stabilized blocks (SSB) but swiftly added this does not mean that the environment will not be tampered with.
Environmental District Officer (EDO) for Chiradzulu Nancy Chawawa concurred with Mwanza that her office receives little funds to carry out thorough environmental screening exercise on project sites.
Meanwhile, the assessment report by CAVWOC revealed that there is full community participation in LDF projects. Through LDF, Chiradzulu district council has constructed over 40 teachers’ the past years as one way of improving quality education in the district.
The overall goal of Kalondolondo project is to improve service delivery to rural secluded and marginalized communities by helping to improve access to quality of services in the Health, Agriculture, Education and Water sectors.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :