Karonga District Council Chairperson Harry Mwanyembe,, this week, bemoaned the lack of community participation in development projects, especially the ones implemented by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in their areas. He said such behavior affect the projects’ sustainabilities.

Mwanyembe said this yesterday when he presided over the opening of a 14-day workshop of early childhood development care givers, that is facilitated by the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) and held at Beach Chamber in Karonga.

According to the newly-electedCouncil Chairperson,, some duty bearers take advantage of this behaviour to abuse the resources of such projects that was meant to benefit the poor.

“Leaving the responsibility alone in the hands of the duty bearers is a contributing factor towards abuse and misallocation of public funds, hence communities need to start taking a sense of ownership of developmental activities in their localities,” he said.

Every year Karonga DistrictCouncil welcomes a number of NGOs who launch their development projects, with the aim of uplifting the living standards of the poor in the society.

However, it has been noted that most NGOs phase-out their projects without the community’s participation.

Commenting on the workshop, Mwanyembe said it is vital that the trainees utilize the knowledge they will acquire to benefit their children. The root of a productive citizen begins at an early age.

On his part, district Child Protection Officer Atupele Mwalweni, pleaded with the Karonga District Council to consider Community Base Child Centres in their planning and budget allocation. He said it is imperative that children enroll in such facilities.

The EAM Regional Coordinator for the north Innocent Kamanga, said his organization is committed to see that their project yields the desired fruits by encouraging communities to take a leading role in the project for its sustainability.

Through the community action for transformation of child health project being implemented in Karonga for 4 year, EAM is set to construct 3 model Community Based Child Centres in Traditional Authority Kilupula, Kyungu and Mwakaboko with funding from the Norwegian Church Aid.

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