Residents in Bulawayo’s low-density suburbs have implored the city council to avail recreational facilities for the youth in their wards.
These concerns were raised during the 2022 budget consultative meetings which were held last week with various stakeholders.
Making their contributions at the Large City Hall, representatives from low-density suburbs said there were youths in their wards who were “left out” from youth programs that are held at youth centres.
Abigail Chimbaru from Ward 3 said youths in her ward were inquiring on how they can benefit from such programs.
“It seems like it is only youths in high-density suburbs who benefit from programs that occur at youth centres. We also have unemployed youths in our wards who would like to partake in these programs. How do they get to know about the schedules?” she inquired.
Another participant who identified herself as Gogo Jamela noted that in some high-density suburbs places reserved for recreation for youths in the area had been taken over by churches leaving the potential beneficiaries with nothing.
A youth from Cowdray Park who participated via the WhatsApp platform noted that the suburb was fast-growing yet there were no such areas to cater for them (youths).
He noted that there were a number of unemployed youths who would benefit from such areas hence the need to have such facilities.
“BCC has failed to honour their Youth document which states that BCC is mandated to provide recreational facilities in all wards that fall under its boundary. Ward 28 Cowdray Park is not catered for in terms of youth services,” he said.
“Can we have more community grounds graded and made available across the ward. There is one that is behind Mkhithika primary we always witness people fighting to use that ground. May you cater for Soccer/Rugby, netball, tennis, basketball grounds. We have some community members who own sports teams looking to partner BCC in developing sports centres, many youths could benefit from this.”
Council representative from the Human Capital department, Audrey Manyemwe acknowledged that Cowdray Park doesn’t have such services but noted that the 2022 Budget would address the issue.