By Promise Dube
Locals in Gwambe Village Plumtree are grappling with a multitude of challenges, including a lack of a clinic, water shortages, drug and alcohol abuse, high school dropout rates, and teenage pregnancies, which are exacerbated by poverty.
The community said these challenges were affecting both the elderly and the youth, as most people in the village were struggling to survive.
During a site visit to Gwambe Village last week, some of the villagers said these problems stemmed from poverty as most locals were unable to pay their children’s school fees, resulting in dropouts and a lack of employment opportunities for the youth.
Ward 2 Councillor Mabed Ngulani confirmed these challenges and said the lack of proper economic ventures was leading to moral decay in the society.
“We see many boys drinking alcohol, which causes them to behave inappropriately including girls who end up having teenage pregnancies,” Ngulani said.
The councillor said the non-availability of surface and underground water worsened issues domestically while some of the water sources were silted.
“There is a shortage of water and some villages have only one borehole. Ward 2 generally has only a few spots where you can find water,” said Ngulani.
Ngulani noted that on the health front, the village is constructing a clinic with assistance from the Diaspora community to provide medical care for the locals.
“This is an effort to find answers to some of the problems that we have and the construction is moving along quite nicely. The community took this initiative because of the considerable distances that individuals must go to the clinic,” he said.
“We are building a clinic as a community and it’s progressing very well and the diaspora community assists a lot. It’s quite impressive.”
The councillor also said once the clinic was completed, it would employ locals within the village.
“We would employ locals from the area. A general hand must be from someone from the ward,” he said.
Child Care Worker (CCW) in the ward, Sifikephi Dube, welcomed the construction of the clinic as she stated there were many obstacles locals encountered as they made their way to access the faraway clinic.
“The route involves crossing a river, which can be challenging during the rainy season. Some women have given birth on their way to the clinic,” Dube said.
Dube also discussed the behaviour of young people, claiming it was worrying how they started drinking alcohol at a young age and lost interest in helping their parents at home.
“This challenge is linked to not having enough work or jobs to keep them occupied,” she suggested.