Malawi government says it is impressed with the projects that the Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) is implementing in Mangochi in the areas of health, education, water and sanitation, women and youth economic empowerment.
Phiri (c) follows MBSP II presentation with Director of Local Govt., Malango Botomani (r), Mangochi Central MP, Victoria Kingston (l) Pic. By Kondwani Magombo _ Mana Phiri addresses people at Milimbo Primary School Pic. By Kondwani Magombo _ Mana
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ben Malunga Phiri, made the remarks on Tuesday during a familiarization tour of projects implemented with support from ICEIDA under the MK11.7billion Mangochi Basic Services Program (MBSP II).
Speaking after he was taken through a presentation on the MBSP II projects in the district, Phiri congratulated the Mangochi district council for the achievements and urged implementing sectors to maintain the pace.
"I'm very impressed with what the council has achieved on the ground but let's not relax: there is still room for us to do even better and we should also make sure that we take care of the resources that we've been provided with," said Phiri.
The minister challenged the Mangochi district council to begin to "think outside the box" and find means of expanding its tax base so as to collect more revenue to complement the development partner's support.
He said with the infrastructural development the district is earmarked for, there was need for the council to begin to align itself in a position that suits the impending status.
"With the state-of-the-art projects like the 5-star hotel at Cape Maclear and the international airport at Namiyasi, Mangochi will become a big city and the council needs to be prepared for that," said Phiri.
The minister then advised the council to come up with by-laws that would enable it generate more revenue from various structures that the district has.
Acting Head of Icelandic Mission to Malawi, Vilhjalmur Wiium, said he was happy that his government's support was changing lives of people in Mangochi and that the MSBP projects were being implemented well without any cases of corruption or abuse of funds.
"It is my responsibility to monitor how the funds are being used and, overall, I feel that the district council has used the funds well," said Wiium.
The Acting Head of Mission noted that through the MSBP II the staff from the implementing sectors had acquired a lot of knowledge and technical expertise and he challenged the staff to translate the same into practical development.
The minister toured MBSP II infrastructural projects which included the perimeter fence around the district council offices, an office complex for the Water Development sector and the Mangochi Boma maternity wing.
Phiri also toured other structures supported by ICEIDA in TA Namavi, and these included Kadango Health Centre and Milimbo Primary School before holding a political rally at the school where he thanked people in the area for voting for Prof. Peter Mutharika during the May 21 elections.
MBSP II rolled out in 2017 spanning five years up to 2021 and it succeeds the MK7bn MBSP I which focused on the implementation of projects in the areas of Health, education, Water and sanitation in the district from 2012-2017.