Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bintony Kutsaira has told Parliament that shortage of staff is contributing to poor
service delivery at the Geological Surveys Department.
The minister said the department has had inadequate staff in various stations established in the 1980s such as in Dowa, Mwanza and Nsanje; hence, making decentralisation unattainable and the work in the stations not up to standard.
Kutsaira was responding to a question from Dowa Central member of Parliament (MP) Robert Harawa (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) on Thursday on why the Department of Geological Surveys is until now not decentralised; hence, making it not accountable to district councils.
The minister said: “However, due to inadequate technical staff, the established stations, until now, are not performing to the expected standards.”
But Kutsaira assured the House that his ministry is currently liaising with the Department of Human Resources and Development to further devolve the regulatory and promotional functions of the department to district councils.
Lilongwe Mpenu MP Eisenhower Mkaka (MCP) followed up on Harawa’s question and asked Kutsaira when the policy on artisanal and small-scale mining would be operational.
Said Mkaka: “I am interested to know as to when the policy will be effective, I am thinking of what is happening in Traditional Authority Mazengera and how we are losing resources because of lack of such guidelines.”
In response, Kutsaira said artisanal and small-scale mining was an important subsector in the country.
He said: “However, the growth of this subsector has been hampered by lack or order. This led the government through my ministry to develop the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Policy which was approved by Cabinet in 2018 and I promise that it will be operational soon.”