President Arthur Peter Mutharika says his government will strategically develop rural areas so as to make them economically viable in transforming livelihoods of the rural population.
Speaking on Thursday when he opened Neno rural growth centre President Mutharika emphasized on how rural masses in all corners of the country deserve better public and private services.
“We have agreed to make every effort and endeavor for inclusive economic growth. Development cannot be achieved if the rural areas are marginalise,” said Mutharika.
“ A country is like a human body. You are healthy because every part of your body is well. A country develops when every part of the country develops,” said Mutharika while pointing out that Neno was before this initiative one of the least developed districts in the country.
The rural growth centre has brought to Neno modern infrastructure ranging from a community hall, community library, hawker shops at the market and a bus depot complete with shops and a new district commissioner’s house.
Immediately before these, other projects that came to Neno include a modern hospital, piped-water system and a community stadium among others.
Mutharika said these infrastructure will change the economic outlook of the district.
“I am pleased to note that banks have now started coming to Neno. Banks follow where you have growing economic activities. This development will boost the economic well-being of the people of this area,” the Malawi leader said.
On future plans for Neno, the President said the DPP government intends to connect the isolated district to all parts the country.
“Our plans for this part of Malawi are bigger. We are looking for funds to construct a new, modern tarmac road connecting from Tsangano to Mwanza via Neno. Every village, and those hills and mountains will be connected to the rest of Malawi,” he said.
The Malawi leader added that Neno will shortly become a strategic location when the Kammwamba Thermal-Coal Electricity Project commences.
Mutharika also warned against vandalism and theft of public property.
Reports of vandalism or theft of public property has been on the increase in recent years
The President said Malawians need to take responsibility of public property and treat it as their own.
Nationally government plans to establish close to 15 rural growth centres to spur economic growth because 80 percent of the country’s population lives in rural areas.
Some of these earmarked centres include Nthalire in Chitipa and Nambuma in Dowa.
This program is being implemented under the Integrated Rural Development plan that intends to take infrastructure to rural areas in the form of markets, energy supply (through rural Electrification
Programme), dams for irrigation and supply of clean water and roads among others.