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Blantyre Residents – Giving the city a good face

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There has been some talk that Blantyre has lost its glory and this fact cannot be disputed.

Peter Chipanga, a Concerned Citizen, comments on the issue in a piece that recently appeared in Malawi’s Nation newspaper.

Defaulters

A minister once bemoaned that service delivery in many local councils is disturbed by a high percentage of city rates defaulters, and the figures mentioned for Blantyre City Council were in billions. I do not think the situation has changed much as the whole matter impinge on the laws governing the local authority. But just imagine what K2 billion can do if put in proper use.

Responsibility

While it is true that refuse is left uncollected in most areas a great proportion of the litter that stink in our markets, streets, drainage, building corners, open spaces, streams is usually the making of citizens.

It is a disappointment that there are some residents who see no issue in littering anyhow and indeed nobody cares; for in a democratic Malawi, it is council’s responsibility.

People can urinate, defecate, throw factory waste just as cyclist or motorist chew sugarcane and throw its trash on the road without remorse or criticism. At markets it is a common sight to see some business persons throwing litter right at their establishments yet the council has dust bins and bin banks. And their customers who actually are city residents seem not to care either. And no qualms about associated health risks.

Look at the litter that culminates from patronage residents make to street ‘markets’ and think of the wastage of resources (that could have been channeled elsewhere.

Security

People resident in Malawi and not only in the city of Blantyre survive on God’s grace but I will not to go into details for critiquing security is a taboo in Malawi.

But I will comment on the non-existence of security lights in some of the streets as I can offer a stride through other streets some citizens communicated to Blantyre City Council about their select.

From Ndirande bus terminal at Kamuzu Stadium down to HHI robots, some residents preferred darkness by getting rid of all street lights poles along Makata road.

Frankly speaking it is not people in Mbalachanda, Chipoka or Monkey Bay who vandalized the poles that cost no less than K200, 000 to get a single pole fixed. The sore sight has not spared the Kamuzu Highway. How people manage to go away with these 300kg steel poles, is an assignment for you and me.

I hear the robots at Kamba are inoperative due to the works of some crazy city residents. Kamba a busy place as it is people went ahead cutting poles from that spot up to Mt Pleasant robots. The madness has not spared Limbe-Chigumula and Kandodo corner shop-Mbayani-Chirimba-Chileka road, among others.

Fire services

The attribute of poor services by the Fire Brigade is debatable. Personally I take it that lack of awareness of when/how/where to seek the services and our different roles, as being lacking.

My understanding of opening a center at the Old Town Hall, which is central to Blantyre Business District, is the genesis of decentralization of the Fire Brigade.

But from the firefighting, rescue and safety lessons tapped from three separate sessions with the South African defense forces, the Malawi lifesaving society and the fire brigade there is more than what the eyes meet. And how I wish organizations could take a special interest in fire and safety lessons.

And I would not want to believe that the sojourn George recently had has made him fail to appreciate that this is Malawi where it is just a thin line that is usually drawn in most operatives.

Service delivery in Blantyre city could be poor yes, but not all is lost and I do not think we should wait for the city’s golden jubilee in 2016 to change things.

George has started it and what are the rest of the million residents doing to promote a conducive environment for a better service delivery in Blantyre city which in1885 was the first in central Africa to earn a Municipality status. God bless Blantyre!

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