The Centre for Community Organisation and Development (Ccode) has propo
sed support for informal settlers in the city of Blantyre noting that they constitute the majority of the city’s residents.
Speaking during Blantyre City Council (BCC) participatory budget meeting on February 1, Ccode executive director Siku Nkhoma said the informal settlers were putting pressure on city services and thus needed support.
“About 75 percent of the city’s residents live in informal settlements and thus only 25 percent live in formal establishments. We propose that informal settlers be supported and given the necessary services such as clean water, disposal of refuse and drainage systems,” said Nkhoma.
She suggested that there must be a way of upgrading the slums setting up a technical and steering committee to oversee the upgrading.
She noted that although the projects were small, they would address the problems relating to informal settlements.
Opening the participatory budget meeting, BCC chief executive officer Ted Nandolo said the council sought to engage the city’s residents on proposed plans.
“We feel it is important to engage other stakeholders before the implementation of our proposed projects. It is important that the city’s residents take part in the formulation of the budgets,” said Nandolo.
Some of the projects that the city proposes to implement next year are road maintenance, and rehabilitation of parks. The council also plans to develop Mandala Nursery Leisure Centre, landscape Chipembere Highway, development of Machinjiri Forest and green Mudi River.
The city council is also planning to extend the city boundaries noting that although the city’s population is growing, the city size has not changed.
Other stakeholders present during the meeting included members of Parliament and traditional leaders.
During the meeting, some stakeholders expressed concern over the relocation of informal settlers from Soche Hill. Others asked the city to expand the capacity of primary schools such as Mbayani and Makata due to the high enrolment.