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Mayor hosts EU ambassador

Ambassador and Head of European Union (EU) delegation to Malawi Marchel Gerrmann on Monday paid a courtesy call on His Worship the Mayor Cllr Wild Ndipo.

Mayor Ndipo presents a gift to EU envoy Marchel Gerrmann

The one hour discussion centred on what the Council was doing in the provision of quality services and on the other hand, the EU contribution to Malawi in general and Blantyre City in particular.

Ndipo was in the company of his deputy Cllr Joseph Makwinja.

The Mayor informed the ambassador that the Council was determined to deliver high level municipal services to the residents.

He, however, noted that financial constraints were a setback. The ambassador was shocked to learn that the Council receives only five percent funding from government of its annual budget of about K4 billion.

EU is supporting water and sanitation projects in the City.

28 modern toilets under construction

Blantyre City Council and its partner WASTE Malawi has started construction and rehabilitation of public toilets under the Sanitation Service Level Agreement Project which is being co-financed by the Council and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Toilet under construction in Mbayani Ward

Under the first phase of the project, 28 toilets are currently under construction/rehabilitation while it is expected that about 100 facilities will be erected in the city by the end of the project.

The sanitation facilities are disability friendly and most of them will have showers to allow people to refresh. “

Toilets are very important and we have prioritized the areas where the situation was worsening, to make sure that the people are living in good conditions,” says Dr Emmanuel Kanjunjunju, Director of Health and Social Services.

“To make sure that people take full responsibility f the facilities and also maintain the high standards, once completed the toilets will be handed over to entrepreneurs in an open bidding process to run them,” he says.

Active Youth and Social Enhancement (AYISE) executive director Marcel Chisi says the project will be very instrumental as it will change the mindset and life style of people into responsible and healthy citizens.

“We have instigated this project to make sure that Blantyre City is not polluted. We will continue to inspect the areas where these projects are taking place to make sure that they are done in time and accordingly,” Chisi said this on Wednesday during the inspection of the project sites.

Blantyre City has new Mayor

The newly elected Mayor Wild Ndipo says he will continue from where former Mayor Noel Chalamanda left in taking the City forward in terms of development and delivery of other municipal services.

Ndipo was elected on Monday, January 9, 2017 replacing Chalamanda whom he deputized for the last two and half years. Bangwe Ward Councillor Joseph Makwinja is now deputy Mayor.

Cllr Makwinja: Second in command

“Every development that we all see in Blantyre is a result of team work and this team work will continue during my term of office so that we create a better Blantyre,” said Ndipo.

“I would like to guarantee the residents of Blantyre that the red star campaign succeeds, revenue collection improves, and outdated by-laws are improved,” he said.

The outgoing Mayor, Noel Chalamanda has pledged his total support and cooperation with the new leadership.

City residents celebrates entry into 2017 with fireworks

This is how it was on New Year Eve!!! Blantyre City Council in partnership with Rab Processors Group and Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) organized Big Night Fireworks: Family Extravaganza Night event which took place at Independence Arch on December 31.

Fireworks that mesmerised me

The extravaganza was planned to bring families together, count down to 2017 and experience cracking of fireworks. Mayor Noel Chalamanda said as per the Council’s motto “Taking the City back to the people” the extravaganza portrayed that Blantyre City residents adore the City and “we have witnessed a lot of families coming here to watch the fireworks together.”

Thousands of Blantyre City residents and people from outside gathered at the Independence Arch to celebrate the entry into the New Year.

As the time clocked 00:00am, huge explosion was heard signaling the cracking of fireworks which lasted for about 20 minutes.

Mayor Chalamanda being interviewed live on MBC TV during the event

There was jubilation, hugging and shouting among the patrons as the man charged with the responsibility of cracking fireworks did his job.

Blantyre City Council Chief Executive Officer Dr Alfred Chanza has declared that fireworks on new year’s eve will now be an annual event.

Council reviewing Service Charter

Blantyre City Council has embarked on a consultative process to develop a Service Charter which will act as a blue print to determine the excellence in the delivery of services.

Acting Director of Administrative Services Alfred Nyengo (standing) delivering opening remarks during the consultative meeting

The Council has partnered with Concerned Youth Organisation with funding from Tilitonse Fund to review the draft Service Charter drafted some three years ago.

On Tuesday, the academia and youths were consulted and gave their useful input while on Wednesday; the Council had a meeting with representatives from the private sector, civil society organisations, media and members of the public.

Council urges residents to use flyovers

The Council has noted with regret the shunning of flyovers by pedestrians which puts their lives at danger.

One of the flyovers in the City

The Council erected a number of flyovers in the City especially at accidents prone spots. However, the utilization of the facilities has not been impressive.

“We are not impressed with the way people use all the flyovers in the City,” says the Council’s Public Relations Manager Anthony Kasunda

“We urge people to make full use of the flyovers. Parents should sensitize their children on the importance of using the flyovers as it is mostly school kids that are hit by vehicles under these structures,” he says.

He says plans are there to build a hand rail around some flyovers especially the Ginnery Corner one so that everyone will be forced to use the facility.

Councils members oriented on local government system

Blantyre City Council members and senior staff from the secretariat have been oriented on the Local government system in Malawi Guidebook.

The orientation was conducted by Malawi Local Government Association, National Local Government Finance Committee and Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

Among other issues, the Council members and secretariat would be oriented on guide for conduct of council business, budgeting and financial management in local authorities, development planning systems and integrity in Councils

The two day orientation workshop was opened by Blantyre City Mayor Noel Chalamba who welcomed the session saying it was better late than never.

Said Chalamanda: “We wish this orientation was conducted at the beginning of our term of office. Nevertheless, this orientation will impart very important knowledge to us Council members on how to conduct business in a manner to serve our city well.”

In attendance were Councillors, Members of Parliament and Blantyre City Council management team.

Council bids farewell to Polytechnic interns

Blantyre City Council on Friday bade farewell to two journalism students from Polytechnic, Angella Phiri and Esnath Samson, who were on internship for the past seven months.

Phiri and Samson were attached to the public relations office.

The two, in their remarks, expressed gratitude for the knowledge and experience acquired from the Council during the stay.

“We would also like to thank Blantyre City Council for extending our internship period,” said Phiri. “At first we were supposed to be here for three months but when we requested for an extension you considered us, we do not take it for granted, thank you.”

“Now it has been seven months since we joined the council and now that it is time for us to go back to school, we are leaving with both tears and smiles. We have tears because it is really sad that we are departing from you wonderful people and smiles because the friendships we have made with everyone here will be a memory and treasure of our stay,” she said.

She added; “As we go back to school, we will take with us all that we have learnt here and it is our hope that [after graduating] we find full time employment with a competent institution like Blantyre City Council.”

Blantyre City Council is wishing the two, Angella Phiri and Esnath Samson, the best of luck in their studies and thereafter.

From streets to College of Medicine

Fellow Blantyre residents: I had the privilege to be part of the Samaritan Trust Open Day. What mesmerized me most was the good work the Trust is doing redefining the future of street children. I was overwhelmed by the story of Simon, an orphan who lost both parents early 2000. This situation pushed him into Blantyre streets to beg in order to meet his basic needs until Samaritan Trust rescued him and enrolled him at Bangwe Primary School.

Simon was selected to Robert Blake Secondary School and now, Simon is a student at College of Medicine pursuing Physiotherapy. What a moving and inspiring story of a life of a once street kid. There is also another story of Rhoda who was pushed into early employment (child labour) because of lack of parental care. Samaritan Trust rescued her from house-girl employment and enrolled her back in school. Now Rhoda is in Form 3.

My Fellow residents, Samaritan Trust is doing a very commendable work to transform the lives of underprivileged children and give them new meaning. You can be part of this success story by sponsoring a child or making a donation. For K5 000 per month, you can send a street child to primary school and K8 000 to secondary school. For K20 000 per quarter a street child can train in vocational skills. I had an opportunity to pose for a photograph with Simon, the College of Medicine student from Samaritan Trust. What a privilege!!! What a life!!!

Samaritan Trust impresses Mayor

GREENCORNER WARD: Blantyre City Mayor Councilor Noel Chalamanda says his office is committed to making Blantyre City a better place to live for everyone including street children.

Chalamanda was the Guest of Honour at the Samaritan Trust Open Day. The Trust is a non- governmental organization that aims at alleviating the plight of street children by ensuring their access to education, vocation skills training and social protection.

He says it is the responsibility of the council to make sure there are no street children in the city and that through trustees like the Samaritan Trust, there is hope that the problem of the increase in number of street children will be curbed.

Says Chalamanda: “What we will be doing in a short while is to go out there using people that have expertise like the Samaritan Trust to see what we can do with the children, either to bring them here or to other such institutions. Even though it might not be solved in a short while but we must take deliberate steps towards alleviating the problem of street children in the city and the country as a whole.”

He says there is need for collaboration among residents in addressing the problem of street children and that the corporate world open up opportunities for street children who have shown dedication in changing their lives by joining the Samaritan Trust.

“It is in this vein that I call upon you, to collaborate and put an effort in addressing the problem of street children. As we have observed, there is a lot of potential among these children. Future carpenters, builders, tailors, technicians. Let’s open up opportunities for these children and utilize their skills for the betterment of our City.” he says.
However, he pleads with the children to take the opportunity of being part of the Samaritan Trust seriously by learning on how they can become good citizens.

Mike Bamford, Samaritan Trust Chairman, says it is sad to see some street children who were once part of the organisation back in the streets when their friends are craving for an opportunity like that.

Says Bamford; “Most of the times children run away from this place for their own reasons but I think because they are used to the life in the streets they find it had to adapt to a new environment which is why we now have competent staff which makes sure that when the children are here they are settled and are feeling at home.”

Margaret Nkhwehna, Samaritan Trust Executive Director says the organization has managed to reach over 5000 street children since it was founded in 1993 with the help of social workers and various organizations such as Tilitonse Fund, Tudor Trust, David James Foundation, Sarah Adams Foundation and Aqua Viveda.

Currently the organization with 17 staff members is taking care of 77 children who amongst them 24 are girls.