Malawi has 40 certified architects serving a population of roughly 17 million people, a development the Malawi Institution of Architects has described as worrisome.
The institution expressed the concern over the weekend at an event aimed at engaging the citizenry to understand the role of architects in development.
Speaking at the event, which was held in Blantyre, president of the institution, Maliam Mdoko, said the shortage of professional architects has resulted in the influx of unregulated foreign architects.
Mdoko added that there is also use of unqualified personnel, adding that, “sadly”, some of the unqualified architects work in government projects.
“We understand that we are in a global village but we have rules and regulations. It is our plea to those in authority that we follow the rules and regulations and respect the laws of our motherland. On the use of unqualified personnel, this has led to a number of problems, [in terms of] both financial and human loss,” he said.
Mdoko also said there is also lack of continuity, in terms of training, as, currently, about 11 cohorts of graduates are yet to undergo part two of the training that is needed for them to become certified architects.
“These people are frustrated. They are being denied the opportunity to qualify and practice as architects. We are glad that The Polytechnic has finally opened up for the part two training,” Mdoko said.
Blantyre City Council Mayor, Wild Ndipo, who graced the occasion, admitted that the development has resulted in the use of unqualified personnel in the construction industry.
Ndipo cited construction of buildings in restricted areas such as road reserves and forest reserves.
“It seems to me that we have not paid much attention to urban design principles and urban planning statutes. As a result of this, Malawi has faced a number of challenges including the recent floods in 2015 that destroyed building in the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu, construction of houses in hazardous areas such as river banks and lack of public recreation parks. So, as we are implementing the Red Star campaign [in Blantyre], we now know who can help us,” Ndipo said.
The event was themed ‘Meet Your Architect’.
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