Zomba District has been rated as the third poorest district in Southern Region of the country (Malawi) after Nsanje and Machinga, the district’s 2017 Social Economic Profile (SEP) has revealed.
The old capital’s social economic status was revealed during presentation of the district SEP at an extra ordinary full council meeting on Friday. The document was compiled under Local Government Accountability Project (LGAP).
A consultant for LGAP, Markward Themba, said Zomba was not doing well in terms of development.
“There is need for authorities to consider looking back and reflecting on their potential to find ways of improving in this devolution time.
“Being the former capital city of Malawi, I was not expecting Zomba to be on third position when it comes to poverty level of the citizens,” said Themba.
In an interview, Chairperson for Development Service Committee at the council, Councillor Evance Namakoka said revelation by SEP of the district’s social economic status was a wakeup call to authorities, especially the secretariat.
Namakoka said the profile would help the council to know areas which remained behind in development.
He added the SEP would also be used as a tool at all development structures, so that all development decisions are kept in line with the situation at hand.
Speaking in a separate interview, one of the councillors who opted not to be mentioned said he was not surprised to hear that the district was rated that way.
He said lack of transparency, poor commitment and selfishness among council secretariat members were some of the major issues ‘killing Zomba’ in terms of development.
“Zomba is blessed with a lot of projects but in terms of implementation it is where we need to focus on and improve,” he said.
He cited projects like Shire River Basin Management and Malawi Flood Emergency Recovery Project (MFERP) as some of the projects which he said could really change things in the district.
‘Millions of kwacha are invested in such projects but when you go on the ground you will believe me that something fishy is happening,” he said.
He however commended the Department of Forestry for changing the face of Sub Traditional Authority Ngwelero through the project called Food for Assets implemented by World Food Programme (WFP).
He said the area had improved in terms of reforestation as the hills around were now turning into forests. Among other areas, the social economic profile tackles security, commerce, health, education and agriculture.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :