Zomba District Council formulates village action plans

Zomba, Zomba District Council has embarked on the formulation of Village Action Plans (VAPs) which would eventually feed into a five year District Development Plan (DDP) to be aligned to the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III.

Director of Planning and Development (DPD) for the Council, Walter Chikuni said this Saturday that the DDP would be implemented from 2017 to 2021.

He pointed out that the DDP starts with VAPs which involve community participation through the village development committees.

Decentralization policy demands that councils should formulate the DDP based on community needs such that we are engaging the community to come up with the needs reflecting their aspirations, Chikuni explained.

The DPD emphasized that through participatory processes, the communities prioritize development issues which would in turn be referred to area development committees (ADCs) where priotization would take place before all the plans from the area level would be consolidated into the DDP.

The communities will implement the plans in some cases with support from government and other stakeholders, Chikuni highlighted.

He asked different local development and governance committees such as the ADCs and VDCs to work with Ward Councillors to ensure that the formulated VAPs were followed religiously in their respective areas.

United States Agency International Development is supporting the formulation of district, area and village development planning system through the Local Government Accountability Performance (LGAP) in eight councils in the country including Zomba.

LGAP Technical Director, Phaniso Kalua pointed out that Members of Parliament would be required to implement various development activities based on the plans through Constituency Development Fund projects.

Non-governmental organisations are particularly being encouraged to design their projects based on the priorities already identified by communities, he suggested.

Kalua said that, Citizens will be able to hold duty bearers including council officials accountable if they bring in projects outside the DDP.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA