By Staff Writer:
Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Lands has completed construction of 16 houses for persons with albinism in the country.
On Monday Lands Minister Sam Kawale presented a report in parliament on the progress of the project.
In the report, Kawale highlighted that so far 16 houses have been completed and ready for occupation which is part of phase one which include a total of 28 houses in 13 districts of Karonga, Mzimba, Kasungu, Nkhotakota, Lilongwe, Dedza, Ntcheu, Mangochi, Machinga, Mulanje, Neno, Mwanza and Nsanje.
Kawale further told parliament that government has already commenced procurement of materials for the second phase which will cover 11 districts of Chitipa, Nkhatabay, Salima, Ntchisi, Dowa, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Chikwawa, Blantyre, Balaka and Lilongwe.
He further said contractors for the second phase are expected to be on site by end August.
Government intends to construct 793 houses for people with albinism across the country. The project is expected to run from 2021 to 2025.
The houses are built strategically close to other houses in the community to ensure that people with albinism receive maximum security from the neighbours as well as community members since most people with albinism have mostly been targeted by criminals who hold beliefs that body parts of people with albinism contain magical powers that bring good luck.
The houses have toilets, bathrooms, store rooms and kitchens all inside a brick wall fence to provide maximum security during day and night.
The Ministry of Lands has been charged with the responsibility of constructing the houses while the Ministry of Gender, Social Welfare and Community Development through the department of Disability and Elderly Affairs is responsible for identifying beneficiaries.
Apart from constructing houses for persons with albinism, government is also constructing decent staff houses for security agencies in the country.
Last month President Lazarus Chakwera handed over 15 staff houses for the Malawi Police services in Mangochi.