On 16th November 2021, His Worship Councillor Wild Ndipo, Mayor of the City of Blantyre, welcomed and received the Queen’s Baton at Civic Centre in Blantyre. Over the years, the Queen’s Baton has traditionally been hosted in the Capital City, Lilongwe. However, this year Blantyre City was privileged to host the Queen’s Baton and participate in the Relay.
On 4th November 2021, Blantyre City Council entered into a partnership agreement with the Rotary Club of Limbe, Illovo Malawi, Kips Restaurant. The agreement aims at keeping Blantyre City clean, green and healthy. His Worship Councillor Wild Ndipo, Mayor of the City of Blantrye. signed the partnership agreement on the Council’s behalf.
On 10th September 2021, Blantyre City Council led residents in a clean-up exercise in Kachere Township as part of the monthly National Clean-up Day.
Blantyre City Council has a Whatsapp number (0888811000) to enhance communication and interaction between the Council and City residents.
The handover ceremony
The Concerned Youth Organization (CYO) on Tuesday donated a Smartphone, bought with funding from Tilitonse Foundation, to the Council’s Call Centre where agents will be receiving and processing messages from residents.
CYO executive director Harvey Chimaliro appealed to residents to make proper use of the Whatsapp platform and avoid sending insults or unnecessary messages or images.
“We would love to see residents making good use of this Whatsapp number like sending pictures of beautiful sites in the city to motivate Council staff to do more. We would also want the residents to send images or complaints for the Council’s urgent action,” said Chimaliro.
The Director of Administrative Services Lytton Nkata thanked CYO for partnering with the Council in the promotion of good governance and emphasised that the Smartphone will be used for the intended purpose.
Public Relations Manager Anthony Kasunda said with the messaging facility, the Council will be able to timely respond to complaints from residents.
The Council established a Call Centre as part of actualising the Service Charter. The Toll-Free Line 526 is operational from 8 am to 4:30 pm only during working days but the Whatsapp number 0888811000 will be online 24/7.
Timely intervention. The Deputy Minister of Local Government Halima Daud, MP, has weighed in on the importance of developers whose buildings were marked with a red star to demolish and build new ones.
Deputy Minister listens to one of the developers in Limbe
Daud said this as she toured road projects and red star buildings along Churchill Road and Livingstone -Avenue in the commercial city.
The Deputy Minister emphasized that the old and dilapidated structures that were condemned about five years ago make the city unattractive and put the lives of people at risk.
She added that in line with Malawi 2063, the government is prioritizing urbanization hence there is a need to plan ahead of time by developing structures that are modern and beautiful.
“Blantyre as a commercial city should look attractive with most of its infrastructure in place. These shabby structures do not depict a good status of the city, moreover, they are a threat to people who live and work around,” she said.
Daud gestures as if pleading with a developer to demolish his building
She added that her ministry will continue monitoring various development projects so that the plans are fulfilled.
One of the structure owners, Salim Karim, who has several structures including the one that houses Pound Shop said he was ready with the new plans only that he was waiting for the city to approve his ideas.
“I promise to resubmit the plans to the council by next Monday and start the demolition and construction as soon as the city council approves,” he said.
Another businessman, Osman Bhambani pleaded with the Deputy Minister for a three-week grace period saying that he had few things to be sorted out before the project commences.
According to the Deputy Minister, Blantyre City Roads Rehabilitation Programme received funding allocation from the government through the Roads Fund Administration (RFA) amounting to MK2 Billion in the last financial year and about MK10 Billion in this financial year for another set of roads and bypasses improvement.
Deputy Minister speaks to one of the developers
Daud said with the current population boom and increased number of vehicles in the country, the roads will help in lessening traffic congestion in the city.
Some of the roads under improvement include Chilobwe-Stella Maris road, Kapeni-Mahatma Gandhi road and junction slip lanes as well as a bridge on Chilomoni Ring Road. (Story and pictures courtesy of www.malawiexclusive.com)
Construction of slip lanes at a junction where Kapeni Road joins Mahatma Gandhi Road is expected to be completed in two months.
A slip lane is a road at a junction that allows motorists and other road users to change roads without entering an intersection. Blantyre City Council is upgrading several roads to decongest and ease the traffic flow on the busy roads of the City.
Construction site at Kapeni-Mahatma Gandhi junction
Some of the bypass roads under construction are Chilobwe-Stella Maris, North Road-Market Street in Limbe, Kapeni-Mahatma Gandhi. Several junctions will have slip lanes such as Mahatma Gandhi and Kapeni Road, Kamba and Kenyatta Drive and South End Schools.
The Council has also advertised tenders for the construction of the following roads in the City: Namiwawa-Sunnyside (Bank Road and Smythe Road), Lali Lubani Road across Masauko Chipembere Highway via Malawi Polytechnic Village-Kenyatta Drive, Ndirande-Nkolokoti Road (Makhetha), Chipatala Avenue-Kamba, Michiru Road- Likhubula, Newlands-Manje via Chiwembe Road and Old Zomba Road-Mapanga.
The projects are expected to cost the Council over K12 billion.
- Dr Queen Dube, Chief of Health Services in the Ministry of Health;
- Members of the Patel family;
- Members of staff at Atlas Medical Centre;
- Invited guests;
- Members of the media;
- Ladies and Gentlemen
Today, we witness another milestone in our beautiful city. Today, we rewrite the history of medical service delivery in Blantyre City.
I am glad to be part of this auspicious occasion. Thank you for inviting me to this grand opening of Atlas Medical Centre.
Why am I excited about the opening of this medical facility?
I am delighted and confident that this hospital will radically improve the quality of service and infrastructure for patients.
Makwinja delivering his speech
Atlas Medical Centre will be of great benefit to the local community both in terms of the medical services that will be provided here and of course the employment opportunities that it will offer.
I am reliably told that although it has started with day time opening, very soon, it will offer 24 hours services.
Ladies and Gentlemen, to set up a medical facility of this kind is no mean achievement.
We are today witnessing the effort and achievement of the Patel family but which will touch many lives in our city and beyond.
I am told that the centre will provide among other services general practitioner clinic, a specialist clinic in hypertension, diabetes, kidneys, infectious diseases, pediatrics and general surgery.
Another exciting news is that it will provide diagnostic laboratory such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), cardiac tests among other specialized tests.
The centre has physiotherapy and a pharmacy that will store various types of drugs.
Ladies and Gentlemen, some of these services are the ones only a few privileged Malawians were accessing outside the country. Now, these services will be locally available. We are very grateful for that.
Let me appeal to the owners of the hospital to maintain the standards they have set out.
We have seen others raising high expectations at the beginning but few years down the line, they become just like any other health facility.
You have told us that your vision is to provide quality health care services for all members of society, use advanced and innovative health care technology and also provide affordable and equitable health care services.
Your acknowledgement that Malawi health care service has been faced with numerous obstacles over the years gives us hope and it is our prayer that you stick to this promise.
Mwakwinja together with Dr Queen Dube on his right and Dr Parth Patel on his left
Finally, I would like to pay tribute and congratulate the directors of Atlas Medical Centre for investing in serving and saving the lives of Malawians.
We look forward to reaping the fruits in terms of efficiency, client satisfaction and better patient relations.
We are optimistic that Atlas Medical Centre will lead to better health, better care and better lives for the people of Blantyre City.
I would like to conclude by thanking Dr Parth Patel for extending an invitation so that I can be here and speak as we celebrate the opening of this hospital.
I believe this new hospital will a great credit to Malawi’s health services and many thanks should go to everyone who has helped to make it possible.
To the management and staff, I wish you all the best as you embark on a life-saving mission.
With these few remarks, it is now my singular honour and privilege to declare Atlas Medical Centre officially opened.
I thank you all for your kind attention and may God bless you.
The Deputy Mayor Councillor Joseph Makwinja says Blantyre City Council plans to plant at least 15,000 indigenous tree seedlings this year to dress Mudi River, Nasolo River, Naperi River, Limbe River, Nyambadwe Hill and Mthawira Hill.
Makwinja on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 commended Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) for partnering the Council in tree planting exercise. Escom plans to support the Council plant 5,000 seedlings.
“It is our wish as the Council to dress our rivers, hills and all marginal land within the City with indigenous trees,” Makwinja says.
This year’s tree planting is being done under the theme “Trees and forests for improved health and well-being because trees and forests provide adorable landscape within the City.
“As responsible citizens and residents let us join hands in the management and maintenance of trees in all our surroundings. Remember, it is not about the number of trees planted, but how many have been nurtured, well managed, survived and matured,” he says.
Together, we can make Blantyre City clean and green again and transform the landscape and livelihood.
On Friday, February 12, 2021, Honourable Halima Daud, MP, Deputy Minister of Local Government launched K2 billion roads construction projects in Blantyre City.
Under the Roads Fund Administration financed projects, the Council will construct Chilobwe-Stella Maris Road, North Road-Market Street in Limbe, Kapeni Road-Mahatma Gandhi at Mount Pleasant Street and Slip Lanes at Kamba, Kapeni, Keza and South End School junctions.
Daud said it was the wish of the Government that local contractors avoid doing shoddy works and also respect the contract period.
His Worship Wild Ndipo, Mayor of Blantyre City, thank the Government for providing financial resources for the projects.
The construction of the roads is expected to complete in eight months while the Slip Lanes are expected to be ready in two months.
The Parliamentary Committee on Local Authorities and Rural Development has pledged support to local councils to review the Local Government Act and lobby for more funding.
The committee made the pledge during their visit to Blantyre City Council on March 11, 2020 to appreciate the processes of City rates collection and if targets are met, waste management and pollution control.
“We are here to appreciate what the Council is doing in the areas of city rates collection, waste management and management of the sewerage system,” said Honourable Horace Chipuwa, committee chairperson.
Dr Alfred Chanza, BCC Chief Executive Officer, welcomed the visiting Members of Parliament saying the visit offered the council an opportunity to share experiences and challenges of managing a commercial City.
During the meeting, the Council made presentations on City rates and other locally generated funding avenues, Liquid waste management with focus on the state of the sewer system in the City and solid waste management with special interest in the management of Mzedi Dump Site.
The parliamentarians toured Mzedi Dump Site where they were briefed about the waste to energy project which Gebis Energy Limited is expected to implement.
BCC is the only Council in Malawi that has a laboratory at Soche Waste Water Treatment Plant where among other things trade affluent tests are conducted and the MPs had the chance to appreciate the facility.