Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Atupele Muluzi has said the involvement of the private sector in Built Environment is critical to the country’s economic diversification.
The minister said this on Friday in Blantyre at the 2016 Faculty of Built Environment (Fobe) Symposium under the theme Built Environment: Towards Sustainable Development.
The faculty comprises physical planning, land economy, quantity and land surveying and architecture.
Said Muluzi: “Currently, government is in the process of diversifying the economy and the need for private sector and your faculty’s involvement in the economy remains key towards the country’s economic recovery.”
He said there are several challenges that the Built Environment is facing nationwide that needs to be addressed to uplift the profession.
Muluzi cited what he called mixed use developments in all urban centres, sketch plans depicting points falling outside subject plots, sub-standard architectural designs and structurally unstable buildings being erected, over-priced costing for infrastructure in terms of quantity surveying which negatively affect progress of projects, real estate projects in particular.
“We have also seen housing estates developing without proper roads, water and electricity. There are also some estate agents that are being managed by unqualified people who end up determining rentals and values for properties without requisite qualifications and yet we are not able to regulate this malpractice,” he said.
This development, Muluzi said, has resulted in the distortion of the property market because the values cannot be relied upon, thereby retarding development.
Earlier, government asked Surveyors Institute of Malawi to address the challenges that have had a dent in the construction industry.
He said a good Built Environment is one which is properly planned, with good designs matching with the time and also the one with quality buildings, good road network, electricity, water and trees.
On her part, the Polytechnic vice-principal Nancy Chitera said Fobe is complete because it has land surveyors, land economists, quantity surveyor, architects and physical planners as well as graduates who are relevant to the socio-economic development of Malawi.
“They [the graduates] are important professionals who will help in job creation, driving the sustainable agenda, issues of land bill Malawi and the Red Star Project to achieve sustainable development.
“They are the driving force in most industries, involved in policy formulation and implementation and above all are involved in job creations,” she said.
At the function, final year students made presentations on a number of issues pertaining to their studies. n