Department of Museums plans consultative meetings on heritage issues

The Department of Museums and Monuments (DMM) is set to embark on consultative meetings with relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in order to come up with integrated policies and management plans for the heritage sites.

Malawi Museum

This comes amidst non collusive policies among the MDAs whose activities are similar to those of what DMM but their policies are in conflict with each other.

Director of Museums and Monuments, Dr Elizabeth Gomani Chindebvu told journalists during a media tour to Chongoni Rock Art World Heritage Site in Dedza on Thursday that the consultative meetings are important and a step towards finding a common standing in addressing challenges that the heritage sector is facing in promoting such sites.

She said heritage sites are a treasure to the country and as such there is need for concerted efforts in addressing challenges the sector is facing.

She was optimistic that once such meetings have been called they will provide an opportunity for the department to explain the needs to the stakeholders.

“We are hoping that the stakeholders will take those needs into their policies in order for us to come up with concerted efforts which can have an impact on heritage issues,” she said.

Gomani Chindebvu emphasized on the need to conserve the sites saying if properly conserved the facilities have an economic impact to the communities and the nation as a whole.

The red rock paintings were done way back by Akafula while the white paintings were made by the early Chewas.

In some of the sites there is symbolism of Gule Wamkulu meaning that the sites were probably used by the early Chewas for initiating the male child and in other sites there is symbolism that have been interpreted to mean that they were used for female child initiation.

Chongoni Rock Art World Heritage Site was declared that status in 2006 due to the unique red rock paintings that are there.

The heritage department which has 127 protected recorded sites within its core and buffer zone is protected under the Geneva Convention.

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