By Tikondane Vega
Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) says it is ready to roll out National Addressing System (NAS) in districts, having almost completed the same in the country’s major cities.
MACRA’s Acting Director of Postal Services, Burnet Namacha, said this in Blantyre Monday when the regulatory authority held a meeting to sensitise Blantyre District Council stakeholders that included chiefs, ward councilors and members of parliament on the NAS to be launched in Blantyre rural soon.
Namacha said once completed, NAS will bring many social and economic benefits to the country hence all stakeholders need to join hands to ensure proper execution of the project.
“We first did pilot phase in selected areas, such as Namiwawa, Chinyonga, Ndirande Safarao, Makata and Ginnery Corner, among other areas, before rolling out in other parts of our major cities like Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba and Mzuzu.
“The project includes six components of a national postcode system, addressing standards, address and postcode database, geographic information system support for the addressing database and public awareness. Today’s meeting is part of awareness though it is a continuous process,” explained Namacha during his presentation.
However, he expressed worry over high vandalism of the installed properties and urged chiefs and ward councilors to conduct massive sensitisation in their communities to avoid such incidences.
In an interview, Blantyre District Council Chairperson Mike Malikita said the council will work with MACRA to ensure the project is completed on time.
“On the vandalism, the council will conduct heavy sensitisation and, above all, will work with police to ensure that such properties are protected. I am told the project is aimed at giving physical addresses to every property and home. This has several benefits,” said Malikita.
He then urged all stakeholders in Blantyre to welcome this development, saying in other countries NAS has become an integral part of one’s identity.
In his remarks, Senior Chief Kapeni said the coming of the project signifies that things are slowly changing for the better in the country.
“This is long overdue. I wish this could have come several years back but better late than never. I am ready to support government as this project is being implemented in the district. I will extensively sensitise people so that they should easily embrace this,” said Kapeni.
Regarding NAS, MACRA has so far done a lot that includes completion of pilot phase, development of new addressing standards and codes, ongoing public awareness and sensitisation and preparations for national roll out.