The ongoing International Mayors Forum in Lilongwe has seen participants committing to promote sustainable cities worldwide by 2030.
Speaking on Wednesday during the opening of the summit which attracted about 100 city mayors and leaders, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa said Malawi is one of the fastest urbanising countries in the world.
He said: “Mainly, it is rural to urban migration that is pushing urbanisation here.
“I wish, therefore, to emphasise that this indicator is extremely relevant to Malawi as it will help us to track progress of interventions that are in place to address key challenges faced by people in informal settlements.”
On his part, Lilongwe mayor Desmond Bikoko said his council has constructed waste transfer stations for effective sanitation service delivery in the city. He said his council is also encouraging recycling and re-use of waste materials.
“Such facilities are constructed in proximity with some of the city’s highly populated areas to provide a platform that enables local small and medium entrepreneurs, particularly women, to produce products from treated and recycled waste, which are later sold to enable them earn a decent living,” he said.
In her remarks, UN resident representative Maria Jose Torres Macho said cities provide livelihood opportunities and social mobility possibilities not found in rural areas.
The Lilongwe Mayors Forum is expected to wind up Friday. It was co-organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and UNDP.
This is the second summit, the first one was held last year in Vientiane, Laos. n