By Austine Kachilika – Mana.
Principal Registration Officer for National Registration Bureau (NRB) in Mzimba, Sandress Kamanga has urged people in the district to register for birth and death certifcates.
He made the remarks Monday at M’mbelwa District Council during a District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting.
Kamanga said; “Birth certificates prove one’s nationality especially when travelling abroad with children or when applying for a visa to other countries. On the other hand, death registration is also crucial since it allows easy processing of insurance benefits and land rights.
“Death certificates also help the government in tracing life expectancy, planning as well as evaluation.”
However, he expressed concern that his office has 26, 000 birth certificates which are yet to be collected and also noted that most births and deaths are not registered.
Kamanga further said that NRB has introduced improved birth and death registration whereby people will now be able to register within their community.
“In the past, it was only the hospitals administering birth and death certificates, but now we have decentralised the process and we would like to give Village Heads the opportunity to register births and deaths since certain births and deaths occur within the community,” he said.
Chairperson for Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Christopher Milele commended NRB for the effort to train Village Heads on birth and death registration.
“This will help community members to have access to birth and death certificates in their communities hence reducing transport costs,”he said.
Mzimba becomes the 17th district to adopt the decentralised birth and death registration as the Government of Malawi embarks on compulsory birth and death registration exercise in line with the National Registration Act of 2010.