Tue. Nov 19th, 2019

GOVERNMENT TO PILOT NEW PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM

By: Vincent Gunde

Government will soon embark on a new Public Works Program ( PWP)_ the Enhanced Public Works Program ( EPWP) to replace the former which phased out in 2017.

Pic: EPWP ….will focus much on environmental conservation…..

The EPWP, earmarked to start before the end of this year will be rolled out in 10 selected districts of Rumphi and Chitipa in the North, Nkhotakota, Kasungu, Lilongwe and Dowa in the centre with Balaka, Chiladzulu, Blantyre and Phalombe in the southern region, will focus in the areas of land resource and environmental conservation.

Speaking during an orientation meeting for District Environmental Sub committee members in Nkhotakota, National Local Government Finance Committee ( NLGFC) Development Specialist, Mateso Kazembe, said after a successful piloting, the EPWP will replace the regular Public Works Program which had experienced a lot of challenges.

Kazembe cited poor quality assets such as roads and forests , and reliance on field workers not empowered, as some of the challenges which hampered the previous Public Works Program implementations.

He said as a measure to address the challenges, the EPWP will invest resources on supervision to ensure high quality work under the program unlike the previous one’s.

The specialist said the Unified Beneficiary Register( UBR) will be used to identity beneficiaries into the EPWP unlike previously where Extension workers and community structures played a major role saying councils will be verifying the beneficiaries.

….” Councils will verify the beneficiaries names once the UBR has done its work of identifications…” Kazembe said.

Public Works Programs were designed to address poverty by employing workers whose employment and livelihoods are disrupted by seasonal, climatic
and economic shocks to enable them buy farm inputs, among others.

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