By George Bulombola
Government intends to engage Malawian construction companies in the construction of houses for officers in security agencies as one way of fast- tracking the implementation of the project.
Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Vuwa Kaunda, disclosed this on Monday in Mzuzu on his mission to assess availability of land for construction of houses for police officers in the north.
Kaunda said the project, which intends to construct 10,000 houses for all public security agencies, will be implemented in phases and that 1000 houses are expected to be constructed in phase one by June 30, 2020.
“Since we want to meet targeted period and to avoid giving back money to treasury meant for the project, we need to involve Malawian construction companies and Malawi Housing Cooperation (MHC) which will be the lead consultant in planning, designing and construction of the houses,” said Kaunda.
He said besides being the lead consultant, MHC will construct 200 houses while the rest will be built by the Malawian companies according to their operating regions.
“MHC on its own cannot manage to handle this project, hence the need for us to involve the private sector.
“Construction companies which are based in the northern region will be awarded contracts within the region, likewise with those based in the south and centre,” said Kaunda.
The minister said such an approach will also create employment opportunities, thereby addressing unemployment challenges the country is facing.
In his remarks, Senior Deputy Commissioner of Police responsible for northern region, Peter Chasweka, described the project as a timely intervention towards addressing accommodation challenges in the security agencies.
He said almost half of police officers in the region live in rented houses, a development which he said comprises the officers’ security.
“We work as team, therefore it is a requirement that all officers should be accommodated within specific camps for easy mobilization when responding to emergency security issues,” said Chasweka.
Also speaking to the media in an interview, Chasweka disclosed that government will also construct a police regional training centre for the north. Police officers’ houses in Mzuzu will be constructed at Area 4 and Dunduzu.
Government intends to construct 10,000 houses for officers in all public security agencies by 2024.-MANA