The ever-growing demand for better houses in Neno has forced some residents in the district to seek the council’s intervention to ask the Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) to construct houses in the area.
The first to sound his concern was Traditional Authority (T/A) Chekucheku whose area hosts the council’s premises who said he is very saddened by how government officials are finding it difficult to secure a better house in the area.
“Most officers here are living in deplorable houses with no electricity while others live in grass-thatched houses.
“When I see this as a chief, sometimes I feel sorry for them and I would like to ask the relevant authorities to at least intervene by constructing houses which can accommodate the workers here in Neno,” bemoaned Chekucheku.
Neno Police officer-in-charge George Chikhungu said his office is greatly affected by the absence of houses since most police officers at the police station are living in rented houses which he said makes work coordination difficult.
“At this police station, I have more than 44 officers, but all of them, including me, operate from rented houses and this is a serious concern indeed. If possible, government should come in and assist us with houses,” said Chikhungu.
In his response, Neno district commissioner Gasten Macheka said he has also observed that housing is a problem including office space in the district, pledging to do whatever he can to find better ways of addressing the problem.
“As we are waiting for relevant government authorities like the Ministry of Local Government, I will sit down with the chiefs to see if they can contribute bricks and sand so that we can start with the police officers’ houses,” suggested Macheka.
Neno was declared in 2002 as a district detached from Mwanza, but till now, the district council does not have proper office structures; instead, authorities renovated an agriculture building where all government offices are congested.
Due to lack of office space in Neno, officers usually share one room to a minimum of three government departments.
Currently, out of more than 70 government officers operating from the council complex, it is only 12 officers who successfully secured better houses while the rest are operating from substandard rented houses.—Mana