Civil society organisations (CSOs) in Balaka have criticised vendors in the district for not participating in the National Clean-up Day President Lazarus Chakwera launched.
During the first and second clean-up exercises in Balaka, only market committee members from the main market participated, with the vendors themselves being onlookers, a development that raised concern.
In an interview on Friday, Balaka CSOs chairperson Charles Sinetre expressed concern over the development.
He said: “This clean-up activity is a national initiative and it is sad that the vendors are not taking part. It is good that on the second Friday of every month we should have some kind of a shutdown just for two hours just to make sure that we all participate.
“We cannot lose anything in the two hours as we will gain a lot. We will clean the surroundings, thereby preventing various communicable diseases.”
Sinetre called on the Balaka District Council to allocate more money for managing the waste, saying the clean-up exercise alone is not enough without proper waste disposal mechanisms.
Balaka district commissioner McCloud Kadammanja wondered why vendors were not patronising the exercise despite being engaged through their leaders.
He said there was need for the vendors to have a mindset change, adding that many of them think their responsibility ends upon payment of market fees.
Said Kadammanja: “We will continue to engage the vendors to find solutions. If the worse comes to the worst, we will consider staging a temporal close-down for two hours during the day to ensure that they all take part.”
The President launched the clean-up campaign on November 10 2020 at Chinsapo in Lilongwe. The exercise is held on the second Friday of the month.