Lilongwe District Council, through its social welfare office, has given Bibi Khadijah, an orphanage located in Area 22 along the M1 road seven days to improve living conditions for 54 orphans or risk closure.
The warning came after a surprise inspection by the Lilongwe district child labour and protection committee which revealed that the child care institution does not meet minimum standards.
The centre does not have potable water, electricity, qualified child care givers, has unhygienic surroundings and has no steady source of funding.
Bibi Khadijah manager Yunus Saidi told the committee, which was led by district social welfare officer Jean Nthengwe, that the centre has been struggling since 2008. It had its water disconnected earlier this year for failing to settle a K358 000 ($650) bill.
He said: “ We mainly depend on charity mostly within the Muslim community who prefer to remain anonymous but the assistance is very erratic.”
Nthengwe described the situation at the centre as pathetic and recommended that it improves within seven days.
She said: “The centre does not meet minimum standards set by government. We have given seven days to improve or risk closure because it is not suitable for children,” said Nthengwe. n