Reviving the National Clean-Up Day

Amid the worst Cholera outbreak, the Ministry of Local Government, Unity and Culture is reviving the National Clean-Up Day, beginning with a reminder to all relevant stakeholders that the country observes the day every second Friday of every month.

The ministry has said this in a press release dated 6th March 2023 and signed by Secretary for Local Government, Unity and Culture, James Chiusiwa. Reads the press release: “With the increase of registered Cholera cases in Malawi, which is fuelled by unhygienic practices, the ministry urges all stakeholders in public and private sectors, CSOs and the general public at large to identify surroundings where the cleaning and greening activities will be observed on Friday, 10th March, 2023”.

The ministry also advises all households, institutions and communities to have big containers, large enough to keep their waste. It further reminds the general public that failing to properly handle waste is illegal under the laws of Malawi. Launched with pomp and hype by President Lazarus Chakwera in November 2020, the National Clean-Up Day sought to achieve good hygienic practices among Malawians by encouraging citizens to sweep and clean their homes, workplaces and other community surroundings every second Friday of a month.

In January this year, environmental activists expressed disappointment with the dying momentum of the campaign meant to promote proper waste management in the country and called for its revival

Local Goverment Accounting staff undergo refresher

An Orientation was conducted for recently recruited, promoted and deployed Local Authority Accounts Officers to capacitate them with skills and knowledge in prudent financial management, fiscal decentralization, ethics, professionalism to ensure they are Officers of good standing and work efficiently and effectively in the management of public resources and enhanced service provision at Local level.

Speaking during one of the cluster sessions, Director of Local Government Services Mr Douglas Mkweta urged the Accounts personnel to work hard and professionally to regain public trust. “It is time for you to stand up and get counted and restore public confidence in local government’s public finance management”. “Accountants play a key role in safeguarding Local Authorities’ finances, and it is important that you have the pre-requisite skills and perform your duties professionally to cultivate trust from the public”, said Mkweta

A total of 85 Accounts Officers from all councils were targeted. The orientation covered the Accountants’ code of Ethics, Local Authority Chart of Accounts, Human Resource Management in Local, Authorities, promotions, training and disciplinary procedures, Financial Reporting in Local Authorities, Migration from Cash basis Accounting to Accrual Accounting and the reporting requirements under Accrual Financial reporting. Also, awareness of the Public Finance Management Act 2022 and Penalties for noncompliance to the Act, Step by step process of preparing Local Authorities Financial Statements and Project Funds management and auditing among others.

Facilitators included officers from the NLGFC, Accountant General's Department, National Auditor Office, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Local Government Unity and Culture and Local Government Service Commission.

DC cautions communities in Chitipa to take Public Works Programme seriously

District Commissioner (DC) for Chitipa McMillan Magomero has asked communities in the district to take the World Bank funded, Climate Smart Public Works Programme (CSPWP) seriously in order to preserve the environment. Speaking during the disbursement of wages to participants on Wednesday, who have worked for a first period of 24 days, Magomero said that the programme will help to bring back the environment in the district, which was degraded due to unnecessary cutting down of trees, as well as cultivation along the river banks. ‘‘This programme is very important for communities in Chitipa because it will help control the runoff water, and to protect the environment in general, as, due to the mountainous topography of the district we have many farmers who cultivate down the hill, but they do not harvest bumper yields due to extensive run off of the water.’’ ‘‘As such, I am urging communities to take the programme seriously in order for us to improve on crop production, said Magomero.

In recent years, communities in Chitipa have been experiencing effects of climate change such as flooding, a development which affects heavily communities living down the stream in Karonga. In his remarks, Group Village Headman Chipwela commended the government for the initiative, saying that apart from restoring the environment, wages will help participants to improve their livelihood. ‘‘This programme is empowering us economically because wages that we are receiving will help us to buy food, as well as fertilizer for irrigation farming. As such I am advising my subordinates to use the money for intended purposes’’, said Chipwela.

According to the acting district liaison officer for Chitipa Jame Gubudu, the district has 14 catchment areas where the programme is implemented, and beneficiaries are working for a period of 12 days per month.

Climate Smart Public Works Programme, which is an acceleration of the pilot enhanced public works programme, is being implemented in all the districts, for a period of five years running from July 2020 to June 2025, and Its primary objective is to improve household resilience to shocks, to increase the pact on household-level incomes and food security, among others.