By Andrew Magombo
Deputy Minister of Local Government, Halima Daudi, has called for a robust approach in the implementation of the National Clean Up Day upon discovery of lack of pace few months after its launch.
In November last year, President Lazarus Chakwera and his Vice, Saulos Chilima, launched the exercise which implores Malawians at both community and institutional level to clean their surroundings at least every second Friday of the month.
However, the exercise stalled early this year upon a spike in Covid-19 cases henceforth prompting authorities to put it on hold while looking for alternative means.
Its resumption has been dragging as evidenced by resurfacing of rubbish in townships thereby prompting relevant authorities to reignite the flame by visiting local communities and councils.
Speaking on the sidelines after taking part in clearing Phwetekere Market in Area 36 in Lilongwe on Friday, Lilongwe, Daudi, highlighted the importance of the exercise saying it instills a culture of cleanliness and promotes a positive behavioural change in the way Malawians manage waste.
She said: “As Malawians, we know that cleaning our environment is very healthy. If the environment is dirty, the beauty of our surroundings becomes compromised.”
“I am asking our chiefs, teachers, leaders and all stakeholders in this exercise to step up collective efforts. Today, in conjunction with Lilongwe City Council we brought these trucks to clear the rubbish but I have told the chief to take over from here.”
In her remarks, Lilongwe City Council Mayor Juliana Kaduya said operational costs and lack of revenue are also hampering the initiative due to lack of resources.
“At this moment, we do not have enough equipment meant for this exercise. We are paying these trucks K15 million for five days so imagine how much we can spend for a month.”
“Meanwhile, a budget is being prepared to consolidate this initiative. Regardless, we ask the Lilongwe residents to comply and pay up city rates which eventually will help our city look beautiful again,” said Kaduya.
Senior Group Village Head Phwetekere applauded the deputy minister’s gesture for taking part in clearing waste his area.
“The deputy minister has directed me to oversee waste management operations in my area with a keen eye. It is important that we maintain hygiene in order to avoid diseases which might slow development in our society,” he said.