Category Archives: Agriculture and Industry

From dusty rural growth centre to lakeshore city

Salima, To some it may appear as another day dream, but to patriotic Malawians this is just a reminder of the wise words from former head of state late Prof. Bingu wa Mutharika, that we have to ‘dream in color’.

The reality in black and white is that for the first time, a local council has taken an unprecedented drive to turn itself from a dusty peri urban centre to a top coastal city.

Indeed, everything started like a dream soon after the current President requested government agencies including local councils to undertake some reforms.

Ernest Kaphuka, Director of Planning and Development (DPD) for Salima District Council, said in the spirit of decentralization the council did not hesitate to seize the opportunity in developing an ambitious and feasible plan to build a coastal city in the nearest future.

Looking at our position as a coastal town, which attracts many tourists and investors, we thought it proper to put down plans to facilitate growth, both social and economic in terms of infrastructure development, Kaphuka said.

He added that luckily, the council’s proposal was accepted at once and is now functional.

In our plans we are going to declare Senga-Bay and Chipoka as controlled development areas. This shall be followed by the development of a land use map (declaring the use of land) and development of urban structures, Kaphuka said.

As if to add icing on the cake, the council already boasts of two major industries in the names of Malawi Mangoes and the Salima Sugar Factory, both of which are employing many people in the district.

Needless to say, with the railway line, the sea port at Chipoka and the Lake shore road interlinking at one point, Salima is well connected in terms of transport and logistics.

According to the Social Economic Profile (SEP) for 2012-2016, Salima is also one of the best tourist’s destination with over 30 resorts, including the famous Sunbird Livingstonia Beach Hotel.

Apart from tourism and the flourishing industries, the district also depends on fishing and agriculture, with concentration in cotton, tobacco and legumes farming.

Kaphuka believes that determination, hard work and support from the central government are crucial for the achievement of the ambitious reforms.

Traditional Authority Maganga, whose areas cover Senga-Bay, observed that proper planning would beautify the town and increase the flow of tourists.

We cannot wait any longer, this is the time we have to develop in a planned manner, said Chief Maganga

Member of Parliament for Salima North West Dr. Jessie Kabwila said no sane person in the district can oppose such a thrilling proposal, which promises more opportunities for Malawians.

The idea to plan our town as a city is the way to go, not only will this help in tourism, but I think it will ultimately also help to link us to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This is not only the home of the lake; it is also an agricultural place. So, it combines farming, fishing and the hospitality industry, Kabwila said.

On his part, Member of Parliament for Salima Central Felix Jumbe said the country has been losing out for not having a coastal city.

Looking at the developments taking place here, we can as well say that we already have a foundation. As you can see, we have the harbor at Chipoka, the main railway station, Malawi Mangoes factory, Salima Sugar factory, and there are more than four cotton ginners, not to mention the hospitality, Jumbe said.

District Commissioner for Salima Rodney Simwaka hinted that in the plan, the council would consider good roads with street lights.

In terms of financing the urbanization process, we have two proposals; first is to ask for support from the Press Trust and secondly is to bring in big companies to invest in the projects through incentives that will be agreed on, Simwaka said.

According to the roll out plan, all sectors started implementing the reforms in the 2017-18 financial year.

However, some resort owners like Miss Samantha Rudick, owner of Cool Running Lodge, have objections over the plan. She argues that such a move could potentially kill tourism in the district.

Speaking when the proposal was presented to hospitality captains from and around Senga bay, Rudick argued that tourists were attracted with Senga Bay because of its natural ecology.

If you make Senga Bay to look like Paris or European, tourists will stop visiting Malawi. You know the tourism industry is cheap in Europe and if Salima will look like Europe, tourists will start shunning the place, Rudick said.

But District Tourism Officer Japhet Kuweruza dismissed the fears and said that turning Salima into a city does not mean completely changing the face and the ecology.

We are talking of building modern roads and facilities but the ecosystem shall be preserved. Places of attraction shall be left the way they are. In short, I can say it shall be built in a way that the natural beauty of the place is not defaced but rather preserved, said Kuweruza.

Indigenous owners of hospitality facilities, Chimwemwe Mwabungu and Dalitso Gome applauded the drive by the council authorities.

We should not wait. This is the time that a coastal district like this one should be beautified with good roads and infrastructure. This can only be achieved if we stop looking at our self as a rural district, said Mwabungu.

The kindness of Malawians, Lake Malawi’s fresh waters, the country’s fauna and flora, the presence of the many resorts, including Senga-Bay with its fine glittering sand beaches, rightly makes Malawi truly, the warm Heart of Africa. Indeed, Salima is the aorta of this warm heart of Africa.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA

Sangala on a charity mission

Lilongwe, September 5: Blantyre based afro-pop musician known as CO real name Code Sangala is on typical mission of supporting Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre.

Sangala who is also well known as a Big Brother Africa actor and a former member of du o music group named Kapirintiya told Malawi News Agency (Mana) Monday in Lilongwe saying he is now interested in supporting Queen Elizabeth Hospital after he got out of big brother Africa game show.

I want to pay attention at Queen Elizabeth Hospital first and am now focusing on children’s ward he pointed out.

Sangala added that he is worried with challenges which QECH is currently facing particularly in children health sector which experience high motility rate.

Am concerned with Queens as one of the big hospitals it still have a high infantile mortality rate he said.

According to him, his plan is to improve some areas which the pediatric ward at the hospital is currently experiencing shortfalls.

My idea is to contribute changing and improving standards of health care at the children’s ward he said.

CO said he is launching his new track titled ‘Mukunama’ with his band known as The Tribe in different Bottle Stores aimed at raising money to be donated at QECH.

Sangala said the fundraising shows would take place in some of the districts across the country and the first performance was performed in Lilongwe at Grittas Camp where many people attended the show.

I have 10 districts lined up to tour with fundraising shows and I have started with Lilongwe, he said.

However, Adrian Chikumbe who is Public Relations Officer for Ministry of Health did not respond about the donation to be made.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA

Lilongwe woman in custody for killing baby

Lilongwe, A Lilongwe based woman is under custody as police is suspecting her of killing her newly born baby and burying it in a bush, Malawi News Agency (MANA) has established.

The woman, Lezia Tembwe, 25 from Mngongonda Village in the area of Traditional Authority Njewa in the district who is said to have been eight months pregnant, delivered a baby girl on August 29, 2017 on her way back from her work place, Wallace Estate, according to Lilongwe Police Public Relations Officer, Kingsley Dandaula.

She started feeling labour pains around 4 pm while at work and decided to go home. She delivered a baby girl on the way to her home, killed it and then buried it in a nearby bush, he explained.

According to the Police Publicist, the body of the baby was found a day later by another woman from the same village when she had gone to her garden.

Postmortem results revealed that the baby died of strangulation.

Tembwe will appear before the court soon.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA

Malawi to commemorate International Day for Disaster Reduction

Lilongwe, With an aim of reducing the number of people affected by disasters, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has this year committed to commemorate the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) in Mzuzu.

Each year on October 13, Malawi joins the rest of the World in commemorating the IDDR across the globe to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.

DoDMA’s representative in the taskforce committee that is organizing the event, Stern Kita said this year’s event falls under the theme ‘Home Safe Home- Reducing Exposure and displacement’.

He said the theme is the slogan for the IDDR and focuses on the second of the seven targets’ of the Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction substantially aimed at reducing the number of people affected by disasters globally .

This is a global awareness event to recognize progress and encourage further efforts to build disaster resilient communities and nations including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness, Kita pointed out.

He explained that the day would be commemorated in Mzuzu following the floods and mudslides that hit the city in 2016 leading to displacements and deaths.

This year’s commemoration would take place in Mzuzu City following the 2016 tragedy that displaced and killed many. The event will therefore directly speak to the theme for this year while also raising awareness on urban vulnerability, Kita pointed out.

DoDMA is jointly working with other government ministries and departments, the donor community, civil society organisations, academia and the private sector on the commemoration of the day. Kita said the approach has been adopted to help promote best practice at international, regional and national level across all sectors.

According to Kita, the day offers an opportunity to reflect on the successes and challenges encountered during the implementation of disaster risk management programs and policies in the country.

Vice President of the Republic of Malawi who is also Minister of Disaster Management Affairs, Dr Saulos Chilima will be guest of honour at the event.

The IDDR started in 1989 with the approval by the United Nations General Assembly.

For 25 years, the IDDR has been a major global awareness event to recognise progress and encourage further efforts to build disaster resilient communities and nations.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA

Nomads K1 million richer for anchoring league table

Balaka, The National Registration Bureau (NRB) mass registration exercise currently underway in some districts of the country, is reported to be on a standstill in Balaka as some registration officers were closing centres without authority.

A survey by the Malawi News Agency (MANA) in 15 registration centers in Balaka has shown that registration officers were closing centres claiming to have finished registration, amidst fear that they will not be deployed to the northern region.

Mana has also learnt that some Registration Officers were sending wrong figures to the Assistant District Registrar indicating that they had met their target but that the numbers were different from the actual numbers the computer captured.

Random interviews Mana conducted with several Registration Officers established that the National Registration Bureau issued an SMS to the Registration Officers that as the registration will be going into phase five to cover the Northern region, some employees would not be taken on board.

We received a text message that some of us will be left behind in the upcoming phase which will see some of the officers proceeding to the north while others will be left behind due to the fact that the Northern region is small, the source who sought anonymity said.

The SMS stipulated that those who will be taken on board to the north will be on first come first served which means those who will finish first are the ones who will be accommodated in the fifth phase, she added.

According to the officers, the SMS has brought fear among the registration officers since everyone would like to be part of the team that will proceed to the north, adding that the development has led to some officers working even at night in order to catch up with time.

Balaka District Assistant Registrar, John Chilenga admitted that the SMS was indeed sent to the registration officers. However, he was quick to condemn the behaviour of the officers for closing centres without consent from authorities.

The SMS in question was really circulated but that cannot be the justification for the registration officers to be doing substandard work in order to secure themselves a place in the northern region phase, Chilenga said.

I am receiving messages with promising figures every day from registration officers that they have finished registration. But when these numbers are verified with what the system has captured, it is showing that the registration officers are over reporting, Chilenga lamented.

Oh his part, NRB Public Relations Officer, Norman Fulatira said the Bureau would only close centres which satisfactorily completed the registration exercise.

An assessment by the district registration taskforce in collaboration with community leaders will only be the tool to determine the closure of a centre, Fulatira said.

The Malawi National Registration Bureau is conducting a mass registration campaign countrywide that will see Malawians getting a National Identity Card which will enable only bonafide citizens have access to various social services.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA