6 November 2017

Malawi: Late Guidelines Provision Delay Project Implementation in Dowa

Dowa — Dowa South East Parliamentarian, Harry Njoka Chipeni, has bemoaned the late provision of project guidelines as derailing development projects, particularly for borehole drilling in the district.

Njoka wondered why Dowa District Council was still tying itself by waiting to first receive the guidelines for implementing projects while people in the villages are lacking water and other social basic amenities.

He said lack of boreholes is a major concern in most villages in the district, saying if the boreholes will not be sunk soon; the water table will be high as the nation is approaching rainy season with some districts already having started receiving some rains.

Speaking in an interview, Njoka pleaded with the council secretariat to utilize the resources available, saying nobody knows what comes tomorrow.

Dowa District Commissioner, Fannie Msimuko, said borehole drilling was also a concern to the district council. However, she said the council could not release the funds by itself without the guidelines.

Msimuko said no local council in Malawi has started implementing projects like borehole drilling as government, through Ministry of Local Government, has not yet produced guidelines on the borehole drilling project.

She therefore asked MPs in the district to wait; saying because of time factor, boreholes will be drilled in the concerned areas. But she insisted that guidelines concerning borehole drilling were paramount to the local council.

Honourable Njoka Chipeni asked the council to give him powers as Local Government Service Commission chairperson in parliament to meet the Minister responsible for Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa M.P to seek clearance.

Parliament allocated K12 million per constituency for borehole drilling and it is believed that K60 million is in the council's bank account waiting for the guidelines for the implementation of borehole drilling project in the district.

In one of the previous full council meetings, MPs and councillors in the district (Dowa) resolved to share the District Development Fund (DDF) for each of the seven constituencies in the district to cherish the impact of the fund.

They said people of the district have been hearing of the DDF for years but do not know what projects are being implemented in the district using the fund, hence the need to share it among the seven constituencies of the district.

But Dowa District Commissioner, Fannie Msimuko, maintained her stand that DDF comes with guidelines, saying the council is for impact on the ground.

Msimuko further told the MPs and councillors that the resolution passed was not a law on its own, saying it could be changed if it contravened other laws and policies.

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