Senior Chief Msakambewa of Dowa has hailed government’s geo mapping exercise for Nongovernmental Organisations (NGOs) saying the initiative will ensure transparency, accountability and active participation by communities in development projects.
Msakambewa made the remarks when the Assistant Director in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disabilities and Social Welfare responsible for NGOs coordination, Dominic Misomali, paid a courtesy call at his headquarters to brief him on the purpose of NGO geo mapping exercise, which government through the NGO Board is undertaking in all the Traditional Authorities of Dowa.
Msakambewa made it clear that while some NGOs are doing commendable jobs in the district, others are doing nothing on the ground as their workers enrich themselves at the expense of the poor in the district.
The chief said there was need for the NGO board to ensure that NGOs do not only exist on paper but are active on the ground so that they positively impact on people’s lives.
He observed that in the past years, the district had Action Aid which did a commendable job in his area and left with a mark while today, there’s the Ministry of Hope, There is Hope, DAPP, Reach Trust, Feed the Children and Total Land Care who are also doing good jobs in his area.
Msakambewa however bemoaned the malpractice by some of the organisations which do not consult chiefs on their projects and the areas to implement saying for a project to be successful, community participation is vital.
In his remarks, Misomali emphasised the importance of traditional leaders’ involvement in development projects by NGOs saying chiefs need to know which NGOs are operating in their areas and the projects they are implementing to enhance cooperation, transparency and accountability.
Misomali said the mapping geo exercise will give a clear picture to government on the NGOs which are active on the ground, their objectives and activities, area of focus, target groups and annual budget for the area, among others which in the end will help in allocating the NGOs to districts and areas according to needs.
He said the information once collected, will also help the NGO Board in lobbying for tax exemption on purchase of vehicles for NGOs which are implementing projects in hard to reach areas citing Matekenya area, where a large number of vulnerable people lives.
The geo mapping exercise will target all the seven Traditional Authorities in Dowa which are Kayembe, Dzoole, Chakhaza, Mponela, Mkukula, Msakambewa and Chiwere and it is expected that the exercise will be rolled out to all Traditional Authorities throughout Malawi.