In 2022, community members under TA Nchinguza in Machinga joyfully welcomed the good news about the in-coming construction project for Nayuchi market which was scheduled to run for three months (May to October, 2022) with Community Development Fund (CDF). But when the three months elapsed the project was still uncompleted up to 2023 with no one to follow-up on the reasons behind the delay. This was the case until Youth Response intervened to capacitate the Area Development Committee (ADC) on measures for demanding transparency and social accountability in community development.
“Milimo Activity facilitated the process of identifying capacity gaps in our organizations and one of the identified gaps was community engagement which Milimo supported us in terms of developing a community mobilization strategy. After that, we started having interface meetings with the ADC from which the issue of the market construction got discussed and we sensitized them about their role in holding duty bearers accountable in such development projects”, explained Higil Kalinde from Youth Response.
“Our community mobilization strategy guided us to capacitate and motivate the ADC as our key community stakeholder and the ADC responded well by conducting regular follow-ups with the market project constructor as well as the Member of Parliament (MP)”, Kalinde added.
According to the ADC chairperson, Innocent Maganya, the ADC had no any motivation to demand for transparency and accountability on the project until Youth Response engaged them.
“Youth Reponse opened our eyes to see how crucial our role as ADC is and we realized that without the follow-ups, the market project would take forever to finish,” Manganya
“So far we have had over five follow-ups with the constructor and the MP. The recent update that they gave us was that transportation challenges due to the poor road condition led to the delay but all will be done by the end of the year. We also asked for the project budget and we were told that it is MK23,000. We also have more details on the expenditure and next steps so that we can be following up and also update community members’, Maganya continued. According to Maganya, the ADC is hopeful that the project will speed up as the duty bearers now know how serious the community is about the progress thereof.
One of the smallholder businessmen whole sells dry fish at Nayuchi trading center Hudson Geli believes that the newly constructed market will improve how business is done currently.
“We are now operating in unclean and unhealthy structures so if the ADC helps us to speed up the construction of the new market, it will be good for us and it will attract more business people here... Other communities are well developed because of such modern market structures’, Geli expressed his hope.