Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Kondwani Nankhumwa on Friday, February 22, 2019, officially launched the Mulanje District Social Economic profile and the Development Plan of 2018-2022 at Mulanje Park Stadium, with a call to officials to promote effective implementation of the blue print within the context of contemporary policies, legal and institutional reforms.
The 2018-2022 District Development Plan is a blue print for guiding development in Mulanje District. It is a medium term plan for the district that consolidates prioritized development issues and their corresponding strategies and programmes that take into account the district’s economic and natural endowments.
He said the documents were reviewed through a participatory process involving all stakeholders at community level, district level and national level. He said most importantly it involved all Full Council members who finally approved the plan to address the needs of the communities.
“Let me register my sincere appreciation to all of you for patronizing the launch and marketing of the ‘Mulanje Social Economic Profile and the District Development Plan. There is a wide range of people and organizations who have worked in a collaborative effort to formulate these planning documents, which are a legal requirement under Local Governance Accountability.
“The launch of these documents is in line with His Excellency the State President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika’s vision of improving lives of people in the communities. The State President wishes to see the livelihoods of the people improved by bringing the required infrastructure and other programmes that bring development closer to the communities,” said Nankhumwa, who also serves as Mulanje Central Member of Parliament.
The minister said Mulanje continues to face development challenges, such as, inadequate access to safe water and sanitation. Inadequate access to quality transport and ICT services, degradation of environment and natural resources, high incidences of HIV and AIDS and malnutrition, inadequate access to quality education, high incidences of maternal and under five mortality, high incidences of vulnerability among women, youth, the elderly, persons with disability and albinism, among others.
“These challenges have impacted negatively on the vulnerability of communities in rural and semi-urban poor areas whose livelihoods largely depend on improved public service delivery. The policy plan and regulatory instruments can effectively be implemented and monitored if we have specific instruments to generate relevant data and information to support informed decision making. To this end, the District Development Planning System (DDPS) plays a pivot role in bridging such gaps,” he said.
He specifically bemoaned the high HIV and AIDS prevalence rate, which is at 20.6%, the highest in the country, urging officials to work extra hard to reduce it to the targeted 9% by 2022.
Nankhumwa recalled that in 1998, Government adopted the Decentralization Policy and that the Local Government Act was passed by Parliament in 1998 and amended in 2010 to give the policy legal impetus.
The aim was to devolve authority, some government functions, responsibilities and resources to Malawians through their Local Governments in order to accord Citizens an opportunity to participate in local governance and local development in order to improve the delivery of basic services, to accelerate socio-economic development and to consolidate the country’s democracy, he noted.
He then appealed to the donor community and development partners to support to the implementation of the plan.
“I wish to ask Mulanje District Council to demonstrate high levels of integrity, loyalty and hard work for you to implement this plan. You must account for every resource that will be entrusted into your custody. I also appeal to Non-Governmental Organizations and the private sector to abide by this plan, to always consult with the council and communities and make sure that everything you would want to support the council are within this plan.
Other speakers at the event included Charles Kalemba, Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development, Isaac Blazio, Chairperson of Mulanje District Council and all Council Members present and Charles Makanga, the District Commissioner for Mulanje District Council.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :