The Malawi Institution of Engineers (MIE) says it will invest a considerable amount of its time and energy in 2012 to address public safety concerns.
MIE president Dr Matthews Mtumbuka said, among others, MIE will zero in on the issue of the growing number of market fires in the country.
Malawi has over the past 24 months seen a significant jump in the number of market fires, threatening lives and property of business people.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When the new MIE executive took over office mid this year, we committed ourselves to being relevant to the people.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Looking at the year 2011, we saw a growing number of market fires across the country and we thought we could do something,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Mtumbuka.
He said MIE has set up a task force led by engineer Andrew Nkoloma to look critically into the matter.
Mtumbuka said the taskforce will be looking at the electrical installations of markets, the nature of goods people sell as well as the structures of markets to ensure that cases of fires are minimised.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Again, this year, we will be launching our five-year strategic plan to guide the operations of MIE from this year up to 2017.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are looking at sometime in February as the ideal time for the launch. We believe that the strategic plan will greatly improve how we interact with various stakeholders in our quest to remain relevant,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Mtumbuka.
Last year, MIE instituted an inquiry into the collapse of the building that housed Kips Restaurant in Blantyre in an attempt to establish the cause of the tragedy that killed four people and injured another 25.
MIE also exposed unethical building practices at Fatima Arcade in Blantyre, where the property owners embarked on major renovation works without notifying the Blantyre City Council and without a seal of approval from a certified structural engineer.
The development resulted in the property owners engaging the council and hiring the services of a structural engineer on the project.