Government is improving selected Community Technical Colleges in all the three regions of the country to enroll more youths and empower them with more skills including mining.
Ngara Community Technical College in Karonga is one such college enrolling 120 students at the moment, but when additional building facilities and associated external works are completed, the college will be enrolling addtitonal 80 mining students increasing the total enrolment to 200 students
Other colleges under the same project are Mbandira Community Technical College in Nkhotakota, Naminjiwa Community Technical College in Phalombe and Neno Integrated Youth Development Centre in neno District.
Mangalasi Construction Company is doing the job in all the colleges and Minister Youth and Sports, Ulemu Msungama, on Friday visited Ngara Community Technical College to check the progress of the project.
He later told Nyasa Times he was not impressed with the pace at which the project was going although better structures were being erected.
“The contractor says he has had a challenge of rocks. I will continue inspecting the project to ensure that what they are telling us is exactly what is happening on the ground. They have given me a work plan as to where they will be in a few months to come.
“This project is significant because it is going to accommodate more youths who will acquire different technical skills needed to develop this country,” Msungama said.
Asked to comment on the importance of carrying over initiatives, concepts or projects started by previous governments, Msungama said it was all a matter of priority.
“It doesn’t matter who did paperwork or who started a particular project. What matters is whether a particualr project will benefit Malawians. We will not abandon any project that we feel will ably serve Malawians. We will make sure that before the end of this year, this project is up and running,” Msungama explained.
Managing Partner for Mangalasi Construction Company, Lomoqulo Gumbo, conceded that the project at Ngara was not running as expected.
“The initial survey did not forsee a rock across the bed of the site. When we come on site to start the excavations, we discovered the rock and this has derailed all our plans. This has resulted in wastage of time. We have contacted the Department of Mines. They will help us to do blasting of the rock.
“As a contractor, we are also not happy with the delay but we are now moving in the right direction,” Gumbo said.
Acting Principle for the college, Glyn Nyirongo, hailed government for considering to introduce mining studies at Ngara Community Technical College.
“This project is unique. Small scale mining is only taught at Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST). To us, the mining course is very important because the catchment area for this college has rocks. There are minerals in Rumphi, Karonga and Chitipa. Coal is produced here. We have seen our youths being used in the villages to dig stones. We can specialize in gemstone cutting and polishing so that our youth should have something to do,” explained Nyirongo.
Construction of additional facilities at Ngara Community Technical College commenced in October, 2020 and the work was supposed to be completed by 31st July, 2021. The project for all the colleges involved is worth 2.6 billion Kwacha.
The concept of Community Technical Colleges is a brainchild of the previous DPP led government.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :