Future of Rural Growth Centre’s in Limbo
Future of rural growth centers government started constructing in some districts about a decade ago remains uncertain as the ministry of local government says is still sorting out differences with contractors and looking for funds.
Spot checks in some project sites like Jenda in Mzimba, Malomo in Ntchisi, Monkey-bay in Mangochi and Chiteketsa in Phalombe that started around 2010 show that not everything planned was delivered completed.
According to our findings, at Jenda, under the project they managed to construct a bypass road, a depot, a market, a primary school and extended Jenda health center and a tele center.
But currently, the tele-center is not working, a stadium was not constructed, a small juice making factory is not operational and people are still shunning the market as they say it’s not strategically located.
At Malomo, in Ntchisi, the market has no electricity and the bus depot is not working, almost the same as Monkey bay in Mangochi, where a telecentre and rice milling factory are not working, while a stadium is yet to be finished.
In Phalombe, the project stalled in 2012 as there are issues with the contractor and up to now there are no signs of recommencing.
District’s Council Chairperson and Ward Councilor for Thundu, where the rural growth Centre is being constructed, Francis Nunkhazingwe, said the situation is retrogressive to development.
However, spokesperson for the ministry of local government, Anjoya Kanyalika Mwanja, said no Rural Growth Centre has been abandoned and the government will finish the projects as soon as possible.
“As for Chitekesa, there were some contract issues with the contractor and that is being sorted out, once that is done works will commence,” She told Zodiak online.
“About works at Monkey Bay, has only a community ground that is yet to be completed.
“Initially, Monkey bay has been supported by a project at Local Development Fund (LDF) funded by African Development Bank (ADB) and due to contract issues that were in court, the works on the community ground was halted and unfortunately the project was closed,” explained Mwanza.
“Of course, the communities would like to have some more structures like community ground and hall, funds permitting that will be considered,” said Kanyalika Mwanza.
The Local Economic Development (LED) project, was designed to develop and sustain an entrepreneurship culture in individuals and groups for broad-based participation in economic growths.