Blantyre City Council (BCC) has partnered South Africa’s Municipal Institute of Learning (Mile) of the Ethekwini Municipality to come up with a framework to be used in spearheading urban development in Blantyre.
BCC director of town planning and estate services Costly Chanza said on Tuesday the framework is going to tackle areas such as management of public open spaces and infrastructure development in Blantyre City.
He was speaking in an interview on the sidelines of a city development strategy, strategic framework workshop at Protea Ryalls in Blantyre.
Chanza said management of public open spaces is an issue that BCC, Ethekwini Municipality and various councils across Africa and Europe have had to deal with lately.
“We have been in touch with these institutions to help us manage our public open spaces. As you are aware that most of our public open spaces are dilapidated, so we decided to engage our colleagues where similar exercises’ have been done before to gain knowledge so that we can rehabilitate these spaces,” he said.
On infrastructure development, Chanza said the 2015 floods affected most low-income townships of Blantyre City as it was discovered that people use low-cost building materials and sometimes build in fragile places.
Mile technical support programme manager Genevieve Hartley said in a separate interview that part of the institution is about creating, sharing and storing knowledge as well as capacitating other municipalities, particularly in Africa.
“We have worked with Mzuzu City Council since 2010 and when Blantyre City Council saw the improvements that have taken place in Mzuzu, they requested that we come and partner with them and to also walk this path of growth and development together,” said Hartley. n