By Fostina Mkandawire
Salima District Council has launched the construction of a K270 million community ground under the Governance to Enable Service Delivery (GESD) Fund, with hope that it will boost revenue generation for the district once the project is completed.
Speaking during the launch of the project on Friday, Council Chairperson, Chifundo Katoweka, said the project will be a facelift for the district, as it will attract tourists and sports lovers from across the country.
Katoweka explained that the district has been waiting for a long time for the commencement of the project, and that witnessing the launch was a-dream-come-true for sports lovers in the district.
“This project will improve sports activities in the district. The current state of the community ground could not attract the attention of the Super League because it was in bad state,” he said.
He, therefore, expressed optimism that once it is completed, the community stadium will be a hub of big Super League teams and other entertainment activities.
In return, Katoweka said the facility will significantly boost revenue generation for the district council that will further be used for other development projects.
Member of Parliament for Salima Central, Gerald Kapiseni Phiri, said he was delighted that his area will have a facility of such magnitude. He described the community ground’s capacity to host 10,000 people as no mean achievement.
The legislator, therefore, advised people from his area to take ownership of the project, saying the facility will not belong to Salima District Council, but to people in the district.
“I am calling upon people of this area to work hand in hand with the contractor so that the construction work is topnotch. Patriotism should be exercised during this work,” he appealed.
Phiri also advised the constructor to employ people from within the area to assist with the ground labour, saying by doing so it will develop the area economically.
Salima District Council’s Director of Public Works, Harris Kumwenda, said the project will be divided into two phases: the first will take four months when modern seats, toilets and a football pitch will be fitted in the ground.
However, he warned the constructor against corrupt practices so that the project is finished on time and within the estimated budget.
The project has been awarded to a constructor called Infrastructure Development Limited.
Salima District Council was awarded K471 million in the 2022/2023 GESD performance-based grant and the community ground is one of the projects to be constructed using the funds.