Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) under the Karonga Diocese has stressed the need for communities to actively get involved in various development project to avoid abuse of government resources at any project implementation stage.
The developmental arm of the Diocese made the call recently during a stakeholders meeting that it organized for Ward Councillors, Council Officials, Religious leaders among others which was aimed at soliciting views on their rolled out of a project called Enhancing Social Accountability in Local Governance to Reduce Inequality for an Inclusive Malawi Project.
Speaking in an interview CCJP Project Coordinator Obert Mkandawire, said development benefits the people hence the need for all to participate as participation ensures people know how resources are being utilized.
“The only way communities can prosper in their respective areas with various development projects that come is if they would take ownership of the projects and feel a sense of responsibility to take care of these developmental activities,” he said.
He observed that in most cases there has been a conflict between local governance structures and duty bearers when it came to projects hence the engagement with the two parties to interact in a bid to create a good working relationship.
“Due to the politicization of developmental resources right holders were failing to make follow-ups on the resources hence the project seeks to enhance social accountability in local governance,” Mkandawire explained.
Director for Planning and Development (DPD) for Karonga District Council David Gondwe hailed CCJP for rolling out the project saying through the project a number of disadvantaged people stand to benefit.
“In as far as inclusivity and gender is concerned the coming in of the project will go a long way in addressing the gaps that exists in local governance structures as for too long men have been dominating these posts hence as a council we have high expectations that inequality can be reduced in among local governance structures,” he articulated.
According to Edward Chitete, Chairperson for Mwakaboko Area Development Committee (ADC), the coming of the project is a huge boost to such committees as the ratio between men and women stands at close to 80% males.
Managed by the CCJP National Office with financial assistance from the Norwegian Church Aid CCJP has implemented the 5-year project in TA Mwakaboko and TA Wasambo in the district.