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Government urges coordination on local governance

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The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has said, despite putting in place policies and legal instruments, there is still a lot to be done in the implementation of integrated rural development and decentralisation programmes.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nakhumwa, during a launch of Programme Support Document (PSD) on Thursday in Lilongwe, said there are challenges affecting service delivery in the local authorities.

“We have developed this document for deepening decentralisation and for effective service delivery and expediting socio-economic development in the councils. The overall goal is to improve living conditions of Malawians,” he said.

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Nankhumwa has since asked stakeholders to implement the document.

The five-year plan harmonises the ministry’s documents, reviews and studies into priorities.

The document has further highlighted challenges such as slow implementation of devolution due to resistance among staff in sectors, weak coordination and limited community participation in local development planning, among others, as affecting attainment of development in the councils.

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Charge d’Affaires for Ireland, Michael Treacy, said his government will assist the ministry in strengthening institutional and organisational capacity of councils.

[We are committed to] improving local government planning, research knowledge management and communication, among others,” he said

Chairperson of Malawi Local Government Association, Wild Ndipo, said the support document will help to fill gaps that exist in delivering services in communities

“To us, it’s a plus because we are already in the process of devolution. It is going to help in filling the gaps that are there. For example, inclusivity and participation is there,” he said.

The PSD will be implemented with an estimated budget of K206 billion.

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