Blantyre youths demand community centres

Youths in Blantyre have petitioned the city’s mayor Wild Ndipo to intervene in their quest to push the council to construct community centres.

The youths expressed the sentiments during a meeting the mayor held with their representatives at the Blantyre Civic Centre on Wednesday.

Blantyre Youth Centre is the most used venue with recreation facilities

The youth said they felt they can be learning various skills in the centres instead of staying idle and indulging in dangerous behaviour such as drug and substance abuse.

Speaking on behalf of the youths, Ndirande-based Youth Arm Organisation’s Elizabeth Byson said the council was ignoring the youth by not providing them with social amenities.

 “In fact, we find it easier to court stakeholders that can help fund construction of youth centres than accessing land through the council. It always seems a farfetched dream. We fear that time is running out,” she said.

Ndipo acknowledged that the council may not have been proactive in dealing with issues affecting the youth in the past and pledged to change.

 On his part, Blantyre City Council (BCC) public relations manager Anthony Kasunda said the council continues to establish recreation centres in various parts of the city.

“We may not manage to build youth centres in every township due to land constraints, but I am sure the parks we are running can suffice,” he said.

The city only has Blantyre Youth Centre, Namwiri Park around Stella Maris, Jubilee Park at Catholic Institute, Rangely Park at Sunnyside and Aroi’s Garden in Mount Pleasant as recreation facilities. n

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