The country’s First Lady Madame Gertrude Mutharika has expressed her dissatisfaction with the state of Blantyre City’s main dumping site at Nzedi, rebelling the site popularly known as ‘kuntaya’ a major health risk for residents in and around the city.

Mutharika expressed her concern after touring the site on Saturday November 1, 2014 during a Blantyre City Council and Beautify Malawi (BEAM) Trust’s joint cleanup campaign of some areas around the country’s commercial capital.

In her speech, Mutharika said: “I am deeply disappointed. This ‘Ntaya’ is a health hazard. I am informed that there is a stream a few meters from here where people draw water, it is very sad because the lives of those people are at risk.

“My impression on this tour is that we have neglected our waste for a long time and we have to do something about it. We cannot continue to live like this”.

She further said that the responsibility of managing waste should begin from individual households to communities and not only be placed in the hands of mostly financially constrained city councils.

The process crippled the Blantyre City Council’s capacity to properly manage waste and the dumping sites.

“My message is that lets keep our country healthy, clean and beautiful. We must start from our homes. We must make sure that our surroundings are clean and that all the waste are properly managed. This is very pathetic. Some of the health problems we are having are as result of poor management of waste,” she said.

On his part,Blantyre city Mayor, Noel Chalamanda assured the First Lady of the council’s commitment to keep the city clean and beautiful.

“We would like to assure Your Excellency that we have plans in place to strengthen our capacity and properly manage our waste. Our request is that Beam should support an assist us along as we are already discussing to achieve these plans,” said Chalamanda.

Before visiting the Nzedi dumping site the First Lady led residents of Kachere Township and Blantyre city council officials in cleaning the streets. Mrs Mary Chilima, wife of the country’s Vice President alongside Beam officials also participated in the exercise

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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