The Lilongwe City Council says it is failing to meet some of its obligations because some residents owe it K6 billion (about $24 million) in unpaid city rates.
Speaking during a tour by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine Gotani Hara to see how the city residents dispose of waste, acting city council chief executive officer Vito Mulula, said last week that the council cannot meet all its obligations because of lack of funds.
â€œFor example, we need over K90 million [about $360 000] to repair sewer broken pipes atÂ the Lumbadzi Housing Estate, K70 million [about $280 000] to procure a grader for the dump site as well as raise money for administrative purposes and salaries,â€ said Mulula.
According to Mulula, the council wants to sensitise people who owe it money to ways of paying off without being victimised.
â€œWe can resort to selling houses belonging to those who owe us large amounts of money, but that is not an easy option. As a council, we do not wantÂ Â to victimise residents; hence, the decision to enter into dialogue,â€ said Mulula.
But Gotani Hara accused the council of lacking seriousness in solving the waste disposal problems by prioritising other areas that can be tackled later.
â€œThe Lumbadzi sewerage system could have been fixed a long time ago if you were putting aside some money once every year. This problem has been there for 10 years and seems that there is nothing been done.
â€œI urge you to make sure that priority is given to the waste management if we are to save our rivers and have clean surroundings free of diseases,â€ she said.
She also urged the council to identify partners who can help it in areas where it has less capacity such asÂ waste collection areas and managing of the dumping site.