Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Grace Maseko has described the conditions of some markets in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe, as appalling due to overcrowding and poor sanitation.
Speaking on Friday after visiting markets in Area 23, Kawale, Tsoka Flea Market and Lilongwe Market, Maseko said markets should not be a source of diseases.
â€œWhat I have seen is that these markets can be a source of diseases. As government, we will ensure that they are improved and if possible, build new markets in all townships to reduce congestion,â€ Maseko said.
She condemned Lilongwe City Council officers for not ensuring that amenities such as toilets are working properly in the markets.
â€œThere are directors at city councils, but I do not think they are doing enough to make our markets clean. I demand a change in attitude because the markets are our main sources of food,â€ Maseko said.
Addressing vendors at Tsoka Flea Market, Maseko commended the vendors for moving out of the streets and said government will help them to access loans to improve their businesses.
Chairperson of Lilongwe vendors James Maseko assured the minister that they will not return to the streets.