K75 Billion World Bank Grant to Improve Service Delivery in Councils
Services delivery in the country's councils stand to improve following a $100 million World Bank grant for a governance to enable service delivery project that will help in strengthening their responsiveness to needs of citizens and promote prudent management of resources to check abuse.
Speaking in Mzimba on Thursday the project coordinator Charles Chunga said the grant will complement the district development fund to increase the availability of funds at councils where funds will be disbursed according to performance in achieving priority investment plans
"This project is very crucial as it addresses a number of challenges that councils are facing in the implementation of development projects but with this project that would now be possible as the funds under the grant would supplement what the councils receive inform of DDF", said Chunga
Chunga said the funds from the World Bank would also help the local government in improving the capacity of councils as they have vast challenges in terms of human resource.
He said there are a number of safeguards to make sure that the funds are not being abused and that they are used for the intended purposes
"We will make sure that all councils have internal auditors to ensure that funds are not being abused apart from that the councils will also be audited by the central audit unit to ensure that internal auditors are going their job", said Chunga.
Under the project which will run for 5 years’ service committees under councils will also be trained to enhance their capacity in their role on developmental activities happening in their districts
One of the component of the grant is that resources will allocated according to how councils are performing
Chairperson for the Mmbelwa district council Paul Chondo has welcomed the project while hoping that the funds won't be abused like constituency development fund which is used as pocket money by members of parliament.
“As councilors we have welcomed the project, you for a long time we have been complaining that resources under the DDF are not enough for meeting our development needs and you know that members of parliament take CDF as their pocket money so with the coming of these funds we feel we will be able to accomplish a lot in terms of development”, said Chondo.
The Governance to Enable Service delivery project will be implemented in all the 28 district councils in the country where they will be receiving finances basing on their performance.
Some of the projects which can be implemented by councils under the K75 billion grant from the World Bank are in the sectors of water and sanitation, education, Roads and Environment among others.