Residents of Kauma Township in Lilongwe on Friday took Lilongwe City Council (LCC) top management to task over the deteriorating quality of life in high density areas.
The residents have since demanded that the council should invest in improving their social and economic livelihoods.
They made the demand during a multi-stakeholder town-hall meeting, which the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe organised with funding from Tilitonse Foundation.
CCJP Lilongwe is implementing a seven-month project in partnership with Oxfam to create a platform for dialogue between stakeholders in the city of Lilongwe apparently after realising that they are poorly coordinated.
On Friday, CCJP brought LCC senior staff members, including the Mayor, the Chief Executive Officer and directors of departments, to a multi-stakeholder meeting where the residents highlighted a number of problems affecting their lives.
They, among others, cited stinking sewer ponds in the area, dilapidated markets and lack of good roads and a health centre in the area.
Malawi Congress Party Councilor for Nyama Ward, Heston Yohane Zibion, said the quality of life for the residents in Lilongwe is appalling.
“These things ought to have been sorted. People here should not be living like this because the township is actually not far from the city centre itself,” Zibion said.
LCC Mayor, Juliana Kaduya, urged people to pay city rates, adding that LCC wants to take over Kauma Market so that it can use revenue from there to build a health clinic and develop the area.
“We will build a bridge between Kauma and Area 44 to enable children in Kauma go to school in area 44. The money is available. We will construct a road from Makatani to the sewer ponds via Kauma market,” said Kaduya.
CCJP Governance Project Coordinator, Mwai Sandram, said the aim of the multi-stakeholder meeting was to enable LCC officials and residents talk about their problems in terms of service delivery and find lasting solutions.