Dowa District Council on Saturday approved a budget of about K28.5 billion for the implementation of activities for the 2024-2025 financial year with a call for prudent use of resources.
Chairperson for the council, Mayamiko Kambewa, made the call in an interview after the council through its Extraordinary Full Council Meeting approved the budget, saying the budget is targeting development and social economic empowerment of the people.
“Today we are proud to have approved this 2024-2025 fiscal year budget. This is a very important budget because it aims at developing the district with various important infrastructure and for the social economic empowerment of the people.
“The budget has tackled several activities and interventions like construction of bridges, roads, school blocks, health facilities, and other infrastructure.
“Also, it has interventions in social support programmes which all overall aim at developing the district and its people,” said Kambewa.
The consolidated budget includes K22.7 billion for operations and salaries, K571 million Locally Generated Revenue (LGR), and an Annual Investment Plan (AIP) of K6.7 billion towards Capital and Software developments.
Amongst others, the AIP includes District Development Fund of K253 million, Governance to Enable Service Delivery of K710 million, Constituency Development Fund which has been pegged at K1.05 billion.
There is also Climate Smart Public Works Programme which has a celling of K2.4 billion and the Social Cash Transfer Programme which has a budget of K862 million.
All these are in the areas of education, health, community development and agriculture, among others.
Kambewa added that it was pleasing to note that the council has intensified issues of LGR.
“As a council, we have a lot of interventions we would like to implement but we know that central government alone cannot manage to fund all these. That is why in our budget we are focusing on strengthening issues of LGR.
“Amongst other strategies, we will strengthen collection of market fees, commercial ventures like that of our grader and other businesses, fees and service charges, and also licences and permits,” he said.
He said the council has the capacity to implement all its plans but appealed for consistent funding from central government, saying the contrary affects service delivery of the council.
Senior Chief Kayembe in an interview said this was a good budget which will help in the development of the district.
“As people are different, so are their needs. It is encouraging to note that the budget has diverse issues which will try to address almost all the different things people need.
“However, the most important thing is to make sure that all the money is put to its intended purpose,” she said.
Dowa Youth Network Chairperson Sankhurani M’banga however said as the youth, they would have wished issues of youth empowerment were also highly prioritised.