Institute of Public Opinion and Research (Ipor) has given Zomba City Council (ZCC) a skip loader and eight skips valued at K36 million as part of a project to improve revenue collection.
The donation is part of a research that seeks to assess whether residents would be more willing to pay city rates when services are duly provided by the council.
The Collective Action and Solid Waste Collection in Zomba City Research is a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign brainchild with financial support from Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID). It is being implemented in Zomba by Ipor.
Speaking during the handover of the equipment on Friday, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Principal Secretary Charles Kalemba applauded the partnership between the players involved in the project, describing the research as beneficial as it would bring out positive results to the residents of Zomba and the city council.
He said: “Research must result in tangible benefits.”
Kalemba called on local government councils in the country to maximise on service provision, saying it is through this that residents feel compelled to promptly pay council taxes when they are due.
In his remarks, Ipor founding partner Professor Blessings Chinsinga said unlike other researches that Ipor conducts that only end at making recommendations for the formulation of good governance and development policies, “this research stands out as it will see people benefit as it is still going on”.
ZCC acting chief executive officer Mussa Mwale hailed the donation, saying this will be the first time for the council to have a skip loader and skips.
He said the council was using compactors and waste bunkers.
Said Mwale: “The equipment is expected to reduce the workload as well as time taken in refuse collection in the city.”
With the newly procured plant, the council is expected to collect increased volumes of solid waste, especially from informal areas of Chikanda, Chinamwali, Sogoja and Thundu.
The project ends in December this year after which a report on its impact to payment of city taxes in Zomba City will be compiled.
Zomba is one of the country’s four city councils. The other three are Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu.