Member of Parliament (MP) for Blantyre City South, Noel Lipipa, says he is keenly taking his personal relationship with his constituents to a higher level to further deepen his understanding and appreciation of their concerns and priorities.
Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times on Friday, September 17, 2021, Lipipa said although he has spearheaded various tangible social and economic development projects aimed at uplifting the socio-economic profile of people, he believes it is now time to apply a new outreach approach to directly engage with them to effectively advocate on their behalf elsewhere, including in Parliament.
“It is my candid resolve to further strengthen my personal relationship with the constituents, including professionals, vendors, women, youth as well as school learners and students. Apart from the traditional public meetings, I will now initiate one-on-one meetings, as well as door-to-door engagements in order to appreciate, deeply, the people’s concerns and priorities. He said he will also leverage on social media platforms and digital technologies to foster effective interaction with other groups, particularly the youths.
“Much often, MPs impose development initiatives on the people; I want it to be the other way round where the people are placed at the heart of the development agenda,” said Lipipa.
The legislator noted that, for example, people there are finding it difficult to access National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) loans and that as an MP, he needs to personally engage them to appreciate the challenges they are facing and subsequently engage the concerned authorities on the same for solutions.
Lipipa, who was voted as MP on a DPP ticket on May 21, 2019, said he is alive to the threats posed by urban poverty among the people of the constituency, which is among the most under-developed Blantyre city areas. Among the challenges facing the area, Lipipa cited lack of access to better education, unemployment, low levels of social services such as public health, water and sanitation, electricity, housing, and poor roads infrastructure. He also noted that lack of adequate capital has killed SMEs. Rising rate of crime, he said, was also a source of great concern.
The MP said he has initiated various programmes to create economic opportunities for the people, especially women and the youths. He said studies have proved that a small steady stream of income for women has a huge positive impact on family health and economic well-being.
Lipipa has also established an education scholarship for children from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as establishing a driving school to benefit youths in the constituency so that they can stand on their own two feet.
Esther Chisapi, a constituent from Baluti area, heaped praise on the MP, saying since Lipipa became MP, he has been on a relentless quest to bring about positive change to the constituency through the introduction of relevant development initiatives aimed at uplifting lives of his constituents.
“He has been focussed and spends his energy on putting the welfare of the people of Blantyre City South at the heart of his social and economic development vision of the area. And indeed development has been flying,” she said in a separate interview.
Among notable achievements, the youthful MP has renovated Ntonda Health Clinic; Zingwangwa Chimwankhunda Bridge; and also renovated Chatha and Manase Bridges. A new 15m bridge over Naperi River is being constructed in Baluti in the constituency. It is a MK12 million project, which came about after the previous bridge was washed away coupled with failure by previous leaders to initiate the project.
According to the MP, among some of the projects in the pipeline are the construction of Manase Health Centre; the rehabilitation of Zingwangwa Health Centre, and the construction of Naperi Police Station.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :