NGO implements Urban Governance project in Blantyre city

By Chisomo Phiri

In an effort to contribute towards improving the service delivery by Blantyre city council to its residents, a non-governmental organization under the banner Concerned Youth

Organization ( CYO ) is implementing an urban governance project in the city called Building an active citizenry for accountability and transparent urban governance.

The project aims at engaging the Blantyre city residents, media professionals, religious leaders, organization leaders and other stakeholders so as to train them what good urban governance is as well as enabling them understand what service charter is all about.

Another aim of the project,is to monitor the implementation of Blantyre City Council service charter to the residents as it is stipulated in the charter.
Speaking to the residents during one of the project trainings at Blantyre City Council offices on Thursday, the organization’s Chief Executive Harvey Chimaliro said the trainings are very important to the residents and community members in such that they will equip them with knowledge on how they can engage with council leaders on the issues of development in their communities.
” These trainings are very important to the residents, community members, fellow organizations and others who play a great role in the development of a nation.Remember, we are living in a democratic government where there is promotion of good governance,accountability and transparency, so it is important that the residents have knowledge on issues of development so as they be able to fully engage with their duty bearers and community leaders such as MPs and Councillors for proper service delivery,” said Chimaliro.

He said the trainings impart knowledge to the citizens on service delivery, most especially those who live in urban areas.
” Through these trainings, citizens are able to question where there is no transparency and accountability in terms of service delivery by the councils. We want residents to feel satisfied with the services they receive from the councils,” He said.
Chimaliro said since the project started this year, they have achieved a lot of things in the communities of Blantyre city.
” Through this project, we have done a lot. Residents of Blantyre city are now able to see what the council is failing to implement according to the service charter. We also have a WhatsApp number where the residents send messages and photos of the public services that are not in good condition like broken sewages, bins so as for the council to take an action, ” said Chimaliro.

He said, recently, they had a monitoring visit to appreciate the service delivery in the markets and actions being taken by the citizens including market vendors to ensure satisfactory service is delivered as stipulated in the service charter.
” As part of appreciating the service delivery by the Blantyre city council, last week, we had a monitoring visit at Kachere and Chikapy markets. Through the visit, we identified a number of issues of concern that are now being addressed by the council such as lackeof piped water for the newly constructed toilets at Chikapa Market, that have taken over two years now, lack of proper slaughtering shelter at Chikapa Market,and lack of waste bins at Kachere market, just to mention a few,” said Chimaliro.

In her remarks, one of the project beneficiaries at Kachere market Olive John commended CYO for the trainings, saying as the citizens, they will now be able to question council where there is lack of service delivery implementation.
” We are very lucky to have these trainings as they are eye openers for the implementation of the public service delivery to us citizens. Through these trainings, we are now able to question the council to improve their services. At first, we were just staying quite without knowing that we also have right to express our views on issues of public service delivery by the council. We say thank you CYO for the trainings,” she commended.

During the training, Blantyre City Council through its representative Adrian Mpinganjira also had time to brief up the residents on what the service charter is all about.
Mpinganjira said the service charter is a set of works that are to be done by the council in each and every city of Malawi. He said, these include Health Promotion, Education, Engineering works/Construction,Roads Maintenance, infrastructure development and distribution of land to the city residents.
Building Active Citizenry For Accountability and Transparency Urban Government Project is being implemented with a financial support from Tilitonse Foundation. It is being carried in the two wards of Mapanga and Mkolokoti.