The Surveyors Institute of Malawi (SIM) has underscored the need to enact into law the draft Building Regulation Bill so that it should provide legal instrument to be used in monitoring and evaluation of conditions of buildings in use in the country.
This follows recent revival of the ‘Red Star Campaign’ by President Peter Mutharika.
Mutharika said early this year that it was unacceptable that after 50 years of independence some buildings that existed before British colonies left are still being used.
He therefore called for a need to put in place policies and use of zoning laws to direct orderly construction in the country and demanded that all dilapidated buildings be either demolished or rehabilitated.
While adding its voice on the revived ‘Red Star Campaign’, SIM President Ellen Chapinduka Nyasulu observed that there is lack sustainability of the campaign as the City and Local Councils do not only lack the capacity but also the legal instrument to enforce these declarations.
“As government is on the move to attracting foreigners to invest in Malawi, we note that there is also a great need to have safe, acceptable and modern buildings. Globally, climate change, safety concerns, need for universal accessibility to bulidngs, changes in technology and need for user friendly business environment have changed the buildings landscape,” said Nyasulu.
She said there is no legal position in the country to influence a developer to maintain a property except the Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare Act which, according to her, also lacks enforcement.
“With no policing of buildings in use, maintenance of buildings is at owner’s discretion. However, just as we service our vehicles, buildings also need to be maintained proactively,” said Nyasulu.
She said preservation of the country’s infrastructures (buildings inclusive) should not be waiting for Presidential decrees only.
The ‘Red Star Campaign’ was first rolled out by the country’s founding President Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda in the 1990s and was later revived by former President late Bingu wa Mutharika in 2008 and just recently incumbent President revived the campaign in February this year.
“Malawi as a whole is not a planning area. This limits the enforcement of the building regulation by-laws to urban areas only.
“Passing of Land Bill into law will declare the country as a planning area ,” added Nyasulu.
She also appealed for an exceptional to application of this campaign to ‘Historic Buildings.
According to her, Malawi has several important buildings that form part of the country’s history and pride and they need to to preserved for both tourist attraction and future generation reference.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :