Malawi government, through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, on Tuesday launched the first phase of the Malata and Cement Subsidy Programme in Zomba District.
The event was held in Zomba Chisi Constituency in the area of Traditional Authority Mwambo.
Speaking during the launch, Lands Ministry Deputy Principal Secretary, Eunice Chipangula, said government wants to ensure that Malawians migrate to iron sheet-roofed houses as the country is in its 51st year of independence.
According to Chipangula, it will be disappointing if the subsidy beneficiaries abuse the construction materials by selling them. She, therefore, urged the beneficiaries to start constructing their houses as soon as possible.
Said Chipangula: “The message which the ministry has is that people who are benefiting from the programme should make good use of the construction materials. We don’t want to hear that they have just put them in their homes.
“You know that cement is a commodity which cannot be kept for a long time; it has to be used right away and we also don’t want to hear stories that beneficiaries have sold the materials,” she said.
According to Chipangula, there are currently 3,555 registered Housing Development Groups that are expected to benefit from the Malata and Cement Subsidy Programme in its first phase.
She was, however, optimistic that the number of the housing development groups will increase.
In his remarks, Zomba District Commissioner Benet Nkasala said the launch of the programme will solve housing problems the majority of people in the district are facing.
The DC said the programme has been introduced in the area at a time people are recovering from the effects of the January 2015 floods that wreaked havoc in the area of Traditional Authority Mwambo.
Nkasala, however, reminded the beneficiaries to ensure that they repay the loans for other people to benefit.
“I am appealing to the beneficiaries to ensure that they repay the loans because this is more like a revolving fund. The moment they pay back, others will also benefit in the subsequent years,” he said.
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