Malawi has blamed capital projects implementers, who assist the country in the construction of various infrastructures, of fuelling the increase in the spread of HIV and AIDS with the Chinese being the major culprits.
Principle Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet responsible for Nutrition and HIV/AIDS, Dr Mary Shawa, said on Tuesday that government was concerned that most capital projects do not streamline HIV in their impact assessment.
Shawa was speaking in Lilongwe during the opening of a National Workshop on Mainstreaming of Gender and HIV in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of various projects.
“If HIV and AIDS was being taken on board in the EIA, the requirement would have been that employees of these foreign contractors would bring their spouses to deter them from sleeping around. However, that is not being done.
“The end result is what is happening at this new five star hotel where Chinese male workers are literary queuing to have sex with the local women. Most often you will find that an area had low HIV prevalence rate of less than 12 percent but after such a project the figures jump to more than 20 percent,” she said.
Shawa made a special mention on a Chinese owned night club at the popular Bwandilo in Lilongwe’s Area 47 where it is alleged that the owner has special rooms for his Chinese colleagues to use for sex romps.
The workshop organised by the OPC with financial support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was aimed at disseminating results of the first phase of a study on Mainstreaming Gender and HIV in EIA and map the way forward for the country.
The study involved Malawi and other Sub-Saharan African countries to enhance the ability for the governments and other stakeholders to intergrate Gender and HIV and AIDS in the EIA process.
The first phase involved literature and desk review while, according to Shawa, the second phase will include intensive data collection from stakeholders.
Of late Malawi has seen an influx of hundreds of Chinese labourers being brought in by contractors from their country who are engaged in several projects which the Chinese government is assisting the Malawi Government through either loans or a grants.
Media reports have been reporting of the unruly behaviour of these Chinese workers with some of them being caught trying to smuggle ivory out of the country and also illtreatment of local workers.
Chinese contractors and labourers were involved in the construction of the New Parliament Building in Lilongwe.
They are also involved in the construction of the Karonga-Chitipa Road; the new five star hotel, conference centre and presidential villas which has been christened Umodzi Park; the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Ndata, Thyolo; and also the yet to be started national stadium in Blantyre.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :