Blantyre City Council (BCC) efforts to ensure a stench-free environment got a boost on Saturday when citizens of Japan donated two garbage collection trucks.
Additionally, the Japanese people gave BCC an ambulance which is expected to complement the council’s fire brigade which had been operating without one for years.
Receiving the vehicles, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa said Malawi values the assistance it gets from Japan and that he hoped the gift would further cement the two nations’ bilateral relations.
He observed that the refuse collection vehicles would enhance the council’s initiative of keeping the commercial city clean.
“The vehicles will also contribute towards enticing more investors into the city who will assist in developing the country’s economy,” said Nankhumwa.
The three vehicles were donated by the Fire Fighters Association of Japan but BCC spent K6 million for shipment and other expenses.
In his remarks, First Secretary at the Japanese Embassy in Malawi, Akihiri Mutoh, said utility vehicles were significant elements in the city’s sanitation and expected the machines to be put to good use.
Mutoh commended BCC for meeting the shipping costs from Japan to Blantyre and pledged his country’s assistance in solving some of the council’s problems.
Blantyre City Mayor Noel Chalamanda said the donation would help improve the council’s service delivery.
He said the vehicles came at an opportune moment when the state of the council’s equipment was very pathetic.
“The fleet is aged and the cost of repairing is far much out reaching. So these vehicles will greatly help in achieving our dream of keeping the city clean,” said Chalamanda.
For some years, Japan has been donating utility vehicles to the country’s two major cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe and so far, 11 have been given out. n