Physical Planners Plead for Political Will in Urban Governance
The Malawi Institute of Physical Planners has warned unless there is strong political will and curtail political influence on land use in urban areas, the country's urban development will remain challenged.
MIPP president Dereck Mamiwa said this Wednesday in Salima during a National urban policy implementation and Innovative Urban Governance workshop.
Mamiwa said there is too much political interference in land distribution in urban setups which in return affects development plans by councils leaving the country's cities in a sorry state.
"We have the plans yes, we have planners yes but things are not good, for example about 76 percent of people in urban areas live in squatters and this is not good at all," Mamiwa said.
He also believes if the leadership of the country deals away with interfering with city council officials on issues of land and planning.
"There is need for strong political will, I repeat strong political will, the new leadership should refrain from what the previous politicians were doing interfering with planners by illegal land distribution."
However, according to Oxfam's Governance Programme Manager Mathias Burton Kafunda one of the organizations implementing Urban Governance project in Lilongwe says lack of sanity among stakeholders is also affecting urban development in Malawi.
"It appears there is lack of communication in the system which also needs to be addressed for meaningful urban development, you find Escom and Water board providing services to the illegal developers without talking to the city planners," Kafunda said.
Tilitonse through different implementing partners among them Oxfam and CCJP has a project of strengthening Urban Governance as one way of lobbying for improved Urban development in Malawi.