National Urban Policy key to improving Malawi’s cities

Lilongwe City.

Malawi plans to put in place a National Urban Policy in order to reduce illegal settlements and improve the country’s cities.

Various stakeholders say the National Urban Policy is crucial in sorting out incomplete human settlements in the country’s cities where many houses are substandard.

Lilongwe City.
Lilongwe City will also benefit.

During the Malawi Urban Forum on Wednesday at BICC in Lilongwe, stakeholders discussed the policy to establish how the country could use it to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 which stresses that cities and human settlements ought to be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Speaking during the event, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Dr Janet Banda SC said government realized the challenges in cities and initiated the National Urban Policy to bring about sanity.
According to Habitat for Humanity Malawi, up to 30 percent of the country’s population will be living in urban areas by 2030.

The organisation’s National Director Kelvin Kalonga called for a speedy enactment of the National Urban Policy before things go extremely out of hand.

World Bank’s Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist Francis Mkoka concurred with Kalonga saying having the policy in place is a move in the right direction.

The forum brought together local and international delegates including partners such as Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Habitat for Humanity Malawi, Centre for Community Organization and Development, World Bank and Ovation Advertising.