Karonga residents threaten demos, boycott of market fees for awful drainage system

Residents of Karonga, especially those around Karonga main market, and scores of business persons have demanded that government immediately construct “strong” dykes and work on the market’s drainage system saying failing which they will stage protests.

Simsokwe: Concerns are valid

The concerned people of Karonga say now that that the rainy season is at hand, they feel threatened by floods–prone in the lakeshore district–which cause homelessness.

Vendors plying their trade around the market,  have  threatened to boycott paying market fees.

Concerned  residents include those from group villages Mwanyesha, Mweniyumba, Mwafilaso, Mwanganda–all in the area of Paramount Chief Kyungu.

Karonga main market chairperson, Goodwin Ghambi, told Nyasa Times in an interview on Wednesday that they have already informed the Karonga Town Council about their decision.

According to Ghambi, in previous years vendors have lost millions of kwacha worth of goods because of the market’s the poor drainage system and incompetent dykes along the North Rukuru River.

“They promised to work on the drainage system and the dykes before this rainy season. As I am talking, we had rain over the night but the council is mum. So we have told the council about our plan,” he said.

Patrick Kishombe who is  representative of the concerned residents, said discussions with vendors to hold a joint protest had reached a sound conclusion on Wednesday.

“The floods displaced over 2000 households last year. It is very likely, as far as the history of Karonga and floods is concerned, that the same will happen this year if nothing is done real quick,” said Kishombe.

Karonga district chairperson, Steven Simsokwe, said he has heard about the development but said as council, they were waiting for official communication from the concerned group.

But Simsokwe said they have been pleading with the central government on the same but to no avail.

“The concerns are valid and as a council our worries are the same. This year’s flood may affect more people. We really need these dykes and a proper  drainage system.

Simsokwe said the council is also just waiting for funding from the central government.

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