Local Government and Rural Development minister, Kondwani Nankhumwa, has commended the Blantyre City Council (BCC) for keeping the city clean and green.
He officially presided over the closure the BCC Health Week Campaign and the official launch of the 'Clean Premises Competition' at Bangwe Market ground in the city on Sunday, December 16, 2018.
"There is much improvement in the central business areas of the Blantyre City regarding waste management. I am encouraged that the Council has already started addressing the challenges of waste management in the townships," said Nankhumwa.
He said cities "should be well known for their cleanliness because a city that is dirty cannot attract visitors and tourists that bring economic development to the city" and "equally is the case with a dirty market that cannot attract customer". So, it was the duty of all residents and market traders to safeguard the city and markets, he advised.
Despite the various challenges that BCC encounters in its efforts to keep the city clean, including inadequate financial resources and garbage collection vehicles, Mayor of the City of Blantyre, Wild Ndipo said they will intensify their efforts not only to ensuring that the city is clean but also enhance awareness among residents and traders about the importance of keeping surroundings clean.
Other high-profile officials who attended the event included Director of Local Government Services, Sphiwe Mauwa, BCC Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Alfred Chanza, MP for Blantyre Bangwe, David Kadzinja and the officiating clergy, Bishop Mercy Chika of Love of God Ministries.
The minister commended BCC for ensuring that the streets have litter bins for the residents to dispose their litter. He also commended the partnership that exists between BCC and the corporate residents of the city in making sure that the city is kept and clean.
He noted that the event on Sunday was the second cycle of the Health Week Campaign and Clean Premises Competition in fulfillment of the promise by the Mayor during the launch of the first cycle of Health Week Campaign and Clean Premises Competition in 2017.
"I remember that His Worship said that this shall be an annual event and I have been looking forward to the second cycle. I have been reliably informed that the health week was a huge success and has seen an improvement in waste management in the markets.
"I am particularly excited that the launch of this event took place at Limbe Market and we are closing this event here at Bangwe market barely two months after I visited both markets," said Nankhumwa, adding that he was optimistic that the events will result in the improvement in cleaning activities of the markets.
He said the sanitation situation cannot be the responsibility of the Council alone but it requires the corporation and collective efforts of both the Blantyre City Council and the traders for the ease of clearing work of our markets to keep it in a better sanitary condition.
The minister said this year's Health Week had served to promote joint efforts to keep the markets and streets of Limbe, Bangwe and other towns clean, for a healthy and clean environment of Blantyre City.
"The choice of this year's Health Week Campaign that focused on markets and townships was excellent because markets are places where we get our food. So, the cleanup campaign has assisted in preventing the contamination of foods with germs that cause diseases such as Cholera, especially in the rainfall season," he said.