Minister Ben Phiri tours waste dump at Mzedi: To be converted into power generation

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ben Malunga Phiri, on Monday made a tour of Blantyre District and one of the areas visited was the City Council’s badly managed waste dump facility in Mzedi Ward along the road from Limbe to Zomba and Chiradzulu.

The Minister (centre) and his entourage at Mzedi dumpsite
Stressing a point whilst at Mzedi dump site
Minister Phiri inspecting road construction
Inspecting road construction

The area around the dumpsite at Mzedi, which is just a few metres away from the main road, is strewn with debris especially plastic papers that fly out of the dump site and land everywhere.

And it poses as a health risk to the surrounding households as well as to the chicken and eggs producing companies that have mushroomed there in recent years.

Whilst there, the Minister was appraised of the plans to bring in a firm that would turn the waste to be generated into electricity power for the City.

The tour was for him to appreciate some of the projects Blantyre City Council is working on and also challenges being faced that are affecting service delivery.

One of the challenges is that the Council collects just 30 percent of the city rates and plans are there to improve on the revenue collection, at least up to 70 percent if the Council is to improve its service delivery.

Phiri also visited the dual carriageway under construction from Kameza roundabout through Magalasi up to the Clock Tower in Central Business District of the city.

He also inspected Sigelege road, Bangwe/Banana/Chigumula road, the bypass from the Thyolo road and also the proposed site of Matindi industrial park.

The Minister was accompanied by the City Mayor Wild Ndipo, deputy Mayor Makwinja, his PS Kalemba and Botomani, director of rural development.

Last week, when Mzedi Ward Councillor, Eric Mofolo was campaigning to be elected Blantyre City Mayor, he had promised to improve waste management in reference to the dump site, which has been an eyesore to the area’s residents.

He had also touched on making available hygiene facilities and to enforce the environment committee to identify and punish polluters of the city’s rivers and streams.

Mofolo, however, lost out to Councillor Ndipo by 20 votes to 4 while fellow aspirant Gertrude Chirambo for Namalimwe Ward in Ndirande got just 5 of the 29 votes cast by their fellow Councillors and Members of Parliament from the City.

Chirambo, who was aspiring to become the first female mayor for the city after two other attempts, had also promised to fight against massive pollution of the city’s rivers and streams, to improve on health service delivery as well as engaging the corporate world to help transform the face of the city by helping in waste management.

She also touched on planting of one million trees to reafforest Ndirande and Soche hills as well as cleaning the waterways along Mudi River, which is heavily polluted.

Both later said they would follow up their agendas in the Council for the good of the City and the tour of their Minister of Local Government and Rural Development should surely boost up their intended projects.

In his acceptance speech, Ndipo, who represents Chigumula Ward, said this was his enormous privilege to be entrusted with another term of office, saying the last term was for the laying of a foundation and now it’s time to continue implementing the promises they made to the residents to further develop the city.

“Our mandate from the residents who voted us in is to develop the City of Blantyre and we need to continue working together to change the face of the city,” said said the Mayor, who took over Noel Chalamanda some two and a half years ago.

Ben Phiri has hit the ground running since appointed as Minister a month ago as just last Sunday presided over the ground breaking for the commencement of the construction of the road from Thyolo Boma to Khonjeni in Thyolo Central Constituency, in which he is also its Member of Parliament.

The construction of the road, at the cost of K917,481,976.03 will be done by China Railway 20 (CR20) Bureau Group Corporation and the 6km stretch is expected to be completed by April 2020.

During his campaign, Phiri initiated many projects for Thyolo Central Constituncy such as enhancement of Khonjeni Health Centre through an ambulance, solar electricity, building extra primary school blocks, bridges and also the provision of a youth resource centre.

The road is expected to connect to Khonjeni railway station, whose damaged rail is under rehabilitation from Limbe and shall soon connect with businesses coming from all the way from Nsanje and Chikwawa districts.

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