Karonga District Council Chairperson Isaac Kalambo has warned authorities in the district to ensure high standards in construction projects saying communities deserve better.
The call follows community’s rejection of Iponga Garden Shelter and Nyungwe Area Development Committee Office (ADC) at Senior Traditional Authority Mwakaboko and Mwilang’ombe respectively constructed with funding under Malawi Governance to Enable Service Delivery (GESD) Project.
In an interview following a full Council meeting Kalambo, said as the council they are concerned with substandard works which has led to communities rejecting them during handover of the mentioned projects to communities.
Saying it is crucial that authorities and contractors task to conduct the projects understood communities need to see value for their money therefore the need for standards.
“We want to have the best in the infrastructures and materials which add up to the resources we have put into the projects but sadly this hasn’t been happening hence our disappointment,” he said.
Kalambo has subsequently warned that the Council is ready to bar any contractors who do not live up to the required standards set by the council when it comes to infrastructure development.
According to Edward Chitete Chairperson for Mwakaboko ADC, blamed the district council for side-lining communities in development projects for reasons why communities have rejected them.
Adding that due to the continuing side-lining, communities do not feel part of projects thus are unable to take ownership and supervision of the projects.
However in a separate interview Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace under the Karonga Diocese project Coordinator Obert Mkandawire, said a lack of proper supervision, an ethical behaviour and incompetence is a worrying trend that has to be reversed.
Stressing that there is need for contractors and consultants who have a good track-record to be employed to conduct the jobs in order to meet the desired expectations of communities.
“For a long time the tendering process and the procurement process has been shrouded in mystery as a result most Area Development Committees are not aware whenever there is an advert for procurement or other services,” articulated Mkandawire.