By Lusekero Mhango
Communities in Karonga have been urged to take ownership of developmental projects implemented by Government in the district through the COMMUNITY MANAGED SOCIAL ECONOMIC project (CMSEP) if the projects are to be sustainable.
Acting director of public works at Karonga district council Robert Phiri made the call on Friday in an interview following a tour that the council organized for journalists in karonga to appreciate development activities that have been undertaken by the project using the 4 billion kwacha that government released last year where Karonga district council was allocated about MK98.6 million which was shared equally in the 5 constituencies to the tune of about MK19.6 million.
According to Phiri, for the sustainability of these projects there is need for communities to take control of these infrastructures as they are sometimes vandalized by locals who live in the same communities.
“Experience has shown us that most infrastructures that have been constructed are not well taken care of by communities hence I urged the communities to take responsibility and care of the infrastructures for the sustainability of them,” he said.
However Phiri has cautioned politicians against using the government initiated development as a bargaining chip to woo potential voters in their campaigns ahead of the 21st of May polls.
“These projects have been implemented with government resources therefore its wrong for any politicians to use the developments to score political points during their campaigns as the projects were implemented using public funds,” he warned.
Dickson Mwangolera vice chairperson of Ngala market where a market shelter has been constructed through the project, has hailed the government for the project saying the construction of the market shelter will help them sell and do business.
“Ngala in recent times has been hit with cholera due to vendors plying their businesses in open spaces. As a result we were in danger of the waterborne disease but the construction of the market shelter will ease challenges that we have been encountering in the past like cholera,” he explained.
Meekness Simwaka an expectant mother at Lupembe health centre has also heaped praise on the government for constructing the waiting shelter for expectant mothers.
She said due to the lack of space at health centres in the past it was uncomfortable for waiting mothers and their guardians when waiting for delivery hence expressed gratitude.
Among other projects that have been implemented by the community managed social economic project include the rehabilitation of Kaporo rural hospitals OPD, construction of Mbande area development committee (ADC) office, Lupembe waiting shelter for expectant mothers and the Ngala market shelter.