Sibangilizwe Community Development, a group of ward 5 villagers in Nkayi district have bemoaned delays from responsible authorities to grant them permission to construct a community clinic in their area.
The group has members based in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, and United Kingdom made up of various professionals in different fields.
Speaking with CITE, one of the members, Ellis Phumzile Ndlovu said the community is experiencing a number of challenges that they want to tackle as a group.
“We have a number of challenges, at first we had no dip tank as a community, it was dilapidated our livestock used to dip in other areas, when we came together we renovated that dip tank and started buying chemicals for our livestock, as it is the dip tank is fully functional,” said Ndlovu.
He said currently, their biggest challenge is the construction of a clinic.
“Our challenge is that we settled in between two rivers Tshangani and Gwelo, our biggest challenge is that we do not have a clinic and it is has been affecting us for so many years, as a community we thought it’s important to have a clinic even if it’s just a tent. The clinics close to us are the ones in Dakamela and Gwelutshena there are rivers and there are no bridges linking us to these areas.
“During the rainy season, we don’t have any health facility, we had a meeting with our responsible local authorities and an application was written and even the Civil Protection Unit confirmed that a clinic is needed in our ward,” said Ndlovu.
He added, “The painful thing is that villagers are now sending one person with their health cards to collect their antiretroviral supplies which is now even more of an invasion of privacy, but when we explain these issues to our authorities it seems as if they don’t understand what we are talking about.”
Ndlovu said the responsible authorities are not telling them reasonable reasons why they are refusing them to construct the clinic.
He added that even the roads in the area are in a deplorable situation.
“Teachers can’t even access our three different schools, Sihlengeni Primary, Mtshabi primary and secondary, and Mbazhe primary. Most of the time teachers do not want to work in these schools because they walk more than 10km from the bus stops. Recently we also sent a delegation to talk about the roads, we have tried everything to plead with them but no one is ready to assist us,’ said Ndlovu.
“By us applying for permission to build the clinic, we are not saying the Government should build for us because as a community we are contributing every month and we are still gathering our resources if they peg for us we are going to build the structure on our own,” he said.
Contacted for a comment, ward 5 councilor, Funwell Mpofu said they were aware of the issue and have since engaged the Minister to appeal for another clinic.
“The challenge is at Nkayi District and from what I heard when I was elected as a Councillor is that a ward is supposed to have one clinic, we have tried to engage the Minister to appeal for us to say if ever possible if a ward is big it should have two or three clinics, this is the motion that we moved,” said Cllr Mpofu.
Meanwhile, Nkayi Rural District CEO Lawrence Mudimba said the community was given another clinic to construct.
“The ward that we are talking about has one clinic and they were given another clinic to construct so the committee felt that the resources will be too strained for them to have three clinics at once, so if they have their own resources, I don’t think it’s a challenge because its an issue of them writing to us and telling us where their money is coming from,” said Mudimba.
“If they have their own money to construct a clinic in their ward it is fine there is no problem, they can send their proposal and show their financial capacity and all those necessary requirements, it’s a matter of them putting their things in writing and showing us that they can afford what they want to do not just wishing.”