Norwegian Church Aid Malawi (NCA) say decentralization of governance is key to accelerating the distribution of mining resources in communities where mining extraction activities are taking place in the country.
NCA Project Officer for Fighting Inequality McDonald Mpangwe made the remarks in Karonga recently following an interface meeting that the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) organized with community leaders and duty bearers which was aimed at discussing issues of equality in development in two traditional Authorities of Mwakaboko and Wasambo with financial support from NCA.
Speaking in an interview Mpangwe, said due to various inequalities that are existing in communities because of lack of decentralization in the mining sector, communities are failing to reap the fruits from the minerals that are being extracted in their areas.
He added that empowering communities in mining governance is vital as the industry is vulnerable to exploitation hence the interface meeting.
“As NCA through CCJP we have identified various inequality gaps that are there specially to do with decentralization in as far as resource governance is concerned thus the project seeks to address the shortfalls in mining communities,” he said.
CCJP Project Coordinator Obert Mkandawire, observed due to the slowness of decentralizing mining district councils are most often left idle hence empowering communities to participate in mining governance is one way of decentralizing the sector.
“If communities are able to demand social services from the mining companies that are extracting in their areas that’s one way of resource governance which the reducing inequality project is trying to promote because it will mean that the resources that will be extracted will be redistributed in the same areas,” Mkandawire explained.
One of the participants to the meeting Reverend Alius Mwanza, hailed the interface saying development benefits the people hence the need for all to participate as participation ensures people how resources are being utilized in their localities.
With financial assistance from Norwegian Church Aid CCJP has implemented the five year Enhancing Social Accountability in Local Governance to reduce Inequality for an Inclusive Malawi Project in TA Wasambo and Mwakaboko in the district.