Malawi Government and Iceland have signed an agreement to extend the Mangochi Basic Services Programme Phase II to 2023.
The programme, which was initially phasing out this month, started in 2017 with K17 billion funding to implement projects to enhance service delivery among rural community members in the district.
According to the agreement, the Government of Iceland has set aside extra K5.8 billion for the extension of the programme.
Reads the agreement in part: “The extension and amendments are intended to provide additional time and financial resources to the Mangochi District Council to realise the remaining outputs of the programme until March 31 2023.”
In an interview, Ministry of Local Government Principal Secretary Charles Kalemba said the extension will boost the completion of the unfinished projects that delayed due to Covid-19.
“The programme has funded the district’s maternity hospital which has been adopted as a maternity training hospital,” he said.
Kalemba said his ministry will support the council’s drive to improve basic services in maternal health, primary education, water and sanitation in the district.
In his remarks, Mangochi district commissioner Raphael Piringu said the second phase of the programme will upgrade Makanjira Health Centre to a Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care facility.
He said: “The programme will also enhance revenue collection through the construction of two new markets.
“We will also improve sanitation in markets.”
The agreement was signed by Kalemba, Piringu, Secretary to the Treasury Chancy Simwaka and Head of Mission for the Embassy of Iceland Inga Dóra Pétursdottir.