Macra calls on Malawians to embrace national addressing system

BLANTYRE: The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has underscored the need for Malawians to embrace with speed the implementation of the national addressing system in order to enjoy the social economic developments.

Once fully operational, the project will enhance service delivery in the post and courier industry following introduction of a comprehensive system of property location, numbering, mapping and associated processes.

MACRA Director of Postal Services, Liza Msusa said the pilot phase that has just been completed in Blantyre where some resistance among Malawians was noted like vandalism of the project’s property such as streets poles and house numbering.

Msusa was speaking in Blantyre on Friday during an interface meeting on national addressing system with members of the media where among others the regulatory body singled out vandalism as a major setback that has been experienced during the pilot phase.

Macra completed the pilot phase early this year with almost 90 percent of work done where we targeted Namiwawa, Makata, Chinyonga, Ndirande Safalawo residential areas and three villages in Lilangwe, Blantyre rural. In the targeted areas in the pilot phase, Namiwawa represents low density areas; Makata Industrial Area represents industrial areas;

Chinyonga represents medium density areas, Ndirande Safarao represents high density areas whereas Somola, Somba and Masanjala villages in Lirangwe represent rural areas.

However, vandalism is a major challenge in these areas and Ndirande Township is not exceptional. We are still doing sensitization campaigns so that people should recognise that the exercise is for their own benefit and should refrain from such bad behaviors as it is an enemy to development. All in all commendable progress had been registered on the physical addressing and postcode project which rolled out in December, 2016.

Msusa said once rolled out fully, the regulatory body is planning to make the project legal binding so that the body can have legal mandate to enforce it so that everybody should embrace the goodness of the positive development.

Blantyre City Council director of town planning and estate services, Costly Chanza said the project is designing, developing and rolling out appropriate physical address infrastructure, particularly street, area name signage, and property numbering throughout the country.

This project has a lot of social and economic benefits to Malawians. It will enhance service delivery as people and their locations will be easily identified and reached, explains Chanza.

As noted, vandalism has been a big challenge. However, we have to accept that sometimes things that were not planned for and have the potential to affect progress of any project do happen but we are still doing our best, he said.

Meanwhile, MACRA is currently doing sensitizations meetings in Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu where it plans to carry out the exercise before rolling out to the districts.

The National Addressing and Postcode Project is a multi-stakeholder driven national project aimed at establishing a comprehensive national addressing system with the following components, a National Postcode System National Addressing Standards, National Address and Postcode Database, Physical Address Infrastructure, Geographic Information System (GIS) Support for the Addressing Database, Public Awareness and Sensitization.

It is a five-year project with a possibility of extension, the budget of the exercise has been pegged at $25 million.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA