Malawi: K9.4bn Olympic Swimming Pool Causes Stir

30 April 2021

"We don't want a swimming pool, we need a hospital."

At a time Malawians are economically paralysed crashed, due to Covid 19, students dropping out due to lack of fees, potholes killing Malawians on daily basis in our, the government is spending over K9 billion for a swimming pool.

There is a high-pitched chorus of disapproval out there as people seem not to get the rationale of construction of a swimming pool another major referral hospital.

The Social Media influencer, reacting to the news of the new swimming pool, Idriss Ali Nassah sarcastically posted on his social media: "The father of a starving family borrows money to buy a large flat screen TV to impress the neighbours.

"The TV is high definition," he says in his defence. "The picture quality is perfect".

That father, ladies and gentlemen, is a moron.

Malawi Government decision to construct a K9.4 billion Olympic standard swimming pool has caused stir in social media space."

"The Ministry of Sports has awarded a Chinese company a contract worth K 9.4 billion to construct the Olympic standard swimming pool and its ancillary structures at Kamuzu Institute of Sports.

According to a notification of intention to award contract that the ministry has flown, the works will be done by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.

However, some Malawians have taken up in various social media platforms to accuse the government of extravagance and having priorities upside down.

Many Malawians have rebuffed the government over the project.

"As always, our priorities are upside down. We don't need a swimming pool, we need a hospital," commented Bernadette Munthali.

But government apologists are defending the move saying the project is funded by the international development partners.

This comes as Malawi is slated to host the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth Games.

Sports Council Acting Executive Secretary, Henry Mereka is quoted by a local paper that the swimming pool was estimated at K20 billion.

However, online search engines show that cost of Olympic-size swimming pools is between $300,000 and $500,000 (K237 Million and K395 Million).

In the 2020/21 budget allocation, the Kamuzu Institute for Sports got the lion's share of the ministry's allocation after being allocated K1 billion for its rehabilitation works.

In total, the Ministry of Youth and Sports was allocated about K7 billion of the K2.2 trillion 2020/21 National Budget.

The allocation saw the Department of sports projects getting an allocation of K2.6 billion.

More From: Nyasa Times

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