Lilongwe residents threaten MHC, council over poor services

December 21, 2013 • Editors Pick, National News • Written by :

MHC houses

MHC houses

Residents of Lilongwe City’s Area 6 medium density township have petitioned Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) and Lilongwe City Council, threatening unspecified action if the two institutions fail to give them roads and other services including refuse collection.

In the petition dated December 6, the residents say all their efforts to get the services have proved futile despite holding several meetings with MHC and council officials.

The residents claim that MHC and the council have not acted on their assurances to work on the roads despite constant reminders and payment of ground and city rates to the corporation and the council, respectively.

“Kindly note that MHC should take this matter seriously as the Area 6 residents have exhausted all their patience. Most of our private vehicles are constantly breaking down due to very bad roads in this area.

“Failure to respond to [our demands] shall prompt the undersigned residents to lead to unspecified drastic action against MHC and Lilongwe City Council,” adds the petition.

In another letter addressed to Lilongwe City Council chief executive officer Richard Hara, the residents say the council’s failure to collect refuse is posing serious health hazards.

“We wish to remind the city council that residents of Area 6 have been paying city rates since 2001 and that the council has the obligation to provide these essential services to the residents of the area,” reads the letter in part.

In an interview on Thursday, Hara said MHC has not yet handed over the Area 6 road network to the council, for it to include the roads in its road maintenance programme.

“That location is for Malawi Housing Corporation. They are supposed to do handovers after reconstructing the roads in the area,” said Hara.

He said the council has limited capacity to collect refuse in the entire city because of inadequate machinery.

“Out of 120 skips for refuse collection which the council had over 20 years ago, it has remained with only 20 skips in good condition. We are now rehabilitating 20 more skips to place in various locations for refuse collection.

“It is easier for us to collect refuse when it is dumped in skips rather than direct on the ground,” said Hara.

MHC spokesperson Ernestina Yobe could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

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