GESD initiative transforms local governance, boosts development – Capital Radio Malawi
25 July, 2024

GESD initiative transforms local governance, boosts development

One of the projects under construction

Since introduction of the Performance Based Grants, under the Governance to Enable Service Delivery (GESD), tremendous transformation can easily be noticed in councils as valuable assets are being created with some helping to change the face of an area and others helping in revenue collection.

For other councils like Balaka whose developmental funding is not all that huge, GESD has necessitated a boost to the council’s financial muscle such that tangible assets are being created.

Apart from creating assets, the programme has helped to improve the way councils do business following the Local Authority Performance Appraisal (LAPA) assessments which are done annually to assist councils to have proper documentation, among other things.

Through GESD, Balaka has constructed three state-of-the-art revenue enhancement structures, which is helping in the collection of revenue for the smooth flow of council’s day to day operations.

Director of Planning and Development (DPD) for Balaka District Council, Christopher Nawata acknowledged that GESD has been a game-changer as most councils were struggling financially.

“It is strategic that apart from creating assets that provide social services like hospitals and resource centres, our council thought of how we can enhance our revenue, thus in consultation with different stakeholders, we agreed to consider revenue enhancement assets.

“Currently, we are still thinking of more options, so that more revenue enhancement structures are created as councils are now encouraged to make more local revenue and fully utilize it,” he said.

Nawata disclosed that Balaka District Council has constructed the state-of-the-art Rivirivi Area Planning Area office, Chimatiro Maternity Wing, Mbera Resource Centre, Kachenga Market Shelter, Chidzanja Market Abattoir and shops within Balaka Bus Depot, Nkaya Health Post and Mulunguzi Health Centre.

He added that, “If you see the list of the assets that we have created, some will go a long way in giving back to the council the much-needed revenue for day-to-day operations, as well as giving back good services to the community.”

Market Supervisor for Balaka District Council, Matiasi Nkusa disclosed that the revenue base for the council has indeed been boosted as the shops in the bus depot alone were remitting K2 million to the council.

“We only constructed a block with three shops, in which each shop is giving K 55,000 every month, what if we had constructed 10 shops, it could have been more.

“Apart from the shops, we get funds from a slaughter house we constructed at Chidzanja Market from which butcher men pay K 700.00 every goat slaughtered and K1, 050 for every cow, we are collecting market fee at Kachenga Market Shed,” he said.

GESD, a five-year programme, is a government project championed by the National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) and is being financed by the World Bank.

By Mary Makhiringa

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