By Tikondane Vega – Mana.
Government has said the promotion of rural infrastructure was crucial in improving social and economic development of the country as it provides numerous opportunities to the rural masses.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Dr. Ben Phiri said this in Thyolo on Friday during the ground breaking ceremony of Mphanje Market and Bus Depot at Muhoma Village in Traditional Authority (TA) Kapichi’s area in the district.
He said government has embarked on several economic projects in rural areas with an aim of empowering people in rural areas to engage in more income generating activities that could improve their lives.
“Government stand is that once economic activities are taking place in rural areas, migration of people to urban areas can be reduced because they can have opportunities of making money in their respective areas and the market and depot being talked about today has potential to improve peoples’ lives.
“K 989 million will be spent to come up with these projects and you can see how committed government is in ensuring promotion of rural development across the country. Not only Thyolo is benefiting, other districts like Mzimba and Nsanje have already benefited,” Phiri said.
The Minister said soon he would conduct launch of similar projects in districts like Zomba, Chiradzulu and Mchinji, saying the markets and depots being constructed are state of the art so that rural people could be motivated.
He said the Mphanje Market would have amenities like five blocks with 40 rooms for businesses such as grocery shops, toilets, butcheries and other five big rooms to be used for other economic activities in the area.
Phiri asked people of Thyolo Central to keep peace on Monday, regardless of the election case court outcome, saying court judgment needs to be respected at all cost.
Thyolo District Council Chairperson, George Jailosi commended government for the project, saying it would go a long way in improving the district’s socio-economic profile.
He urged the contractor to offer employment to the locals so that they could benefit as citizens of the area.
Contracts Manager for J and J Contractor, Ndanasho Kayange said the company would finish the projects within the given period of one year, pointing out that there is a possibility of finishing the project ahead of the deadline.
He said being an experienced contractor he would build both the depot and market using standard materials that are certified by construction experts.
“I have been in the construction industry for a long time and I know what it means when government trusts you with a big project like this. Let me say here that I will employ more people from this area to help my company in carrying out the task,” Kayange said.