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Bulilima villagers build 6 clinics

by Staff Reporter
31 Jan 2023 at 08:54hrs | Views
SIX clinics being built by villagers in Bulilima East are nearing completion, a move that is expected to boost health provision and reduce distances they walk to access health services.

The clinics are Gwambe, whose construction started in 2019; Diba in 2021; Nyabane in 2021; Temateme in 2015; Ngwana in 2018 and Somnene in 2018.

In December last year, another community driven clinic project, Gambu Health Centre was officially opened by Vice President and Health and Child Care Minister Dr Constantino Chiwenga.

The health centre has state of the art medical equipment donated by Rotary clubs from the United Kingdom, German and Australia after they were charmed by the community initiative.

Communities in Bulilima long took up the President's philosophy "Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabaninilo" and are addressing challenges they face in their areas.

Bulilima MP Mangaliso Ndlovu, who is also Environment, Climate, Environment and Tourism Minister, said all the projects are community led, driven, supported and funded to some extent.

"You can tell from the ownership that this is a project by the people and for the people. We have the local community and you can never quantify their contribution because they provide material like cement and monies but more important they provide labour.

"It is their sweat and blood that is building these facilities. They would fetch water and all get materials used in the construction. I also appreciate the contributions being done by our brothers and sisters in South Africa, Botswana and other countries through the various groups they have formed to partner the work done back home," he said.

"We have been very fortunate to have people who are like this, who love their home so much and paying back to communities where they grew up, who are helping their parents and their children in addressing these social infrastructure gaps that are there. But also we appreciate the contribution which the Government is making through devolution and constituency devolution funds. We look at these projects as a collective of this social partnership that the Government has with communities both local and in the diaspora and that is why we are seeing this significant improvement in our localities."

Community members working on Ngwana Clinic in Ward five (Matjinge ward). It is around 80% complete.

Gwambe Clinic diaspora chairperson Mr Descent Lungwane Moyo said the clinic is almost complete.

The community once suffered a setback when about 14 roofing sheets were stolen at the clinic but they did not lose hope as they have now embarked on the construction of nurses' accommodation.

"Our clinic is almost done and we are setting sight on the nurses' houses and we have done the foundation. It has been a long journey which is coming to fruition. The project started with nine people who raised ZAR 5 700 and the community chipped in with ZAR30 per homestead. As diasporans, we then started contributing ZAR 500 per individual and up to now people are still contributing.

"We have received lot of support via our MP and local council through constituency development funds and devolution funds and our target is that by the first half of the year we should be done with the construction," he said from his base in South Africa.

Councillor for Matjinge, Promise Masibi said resources permitting they will be done with construction of Ngwana Clinic in April.

Cllr Masibi said walking long distances to the next available clinics was not ideal for sick people.

"We have completed the main structure and two cottages for nurses and painted them. We are now in the process of doing the plumbing for the septic tank and working on the incinerator and with resources permitting we hope by April we will be done. This clinic is crucial in that it will reduce the long distance we currently walk to the nearest clinics. We go to Matjinge which is 14 km away or to Ndiweni clinic which is 21 km away. Our pregnant women will be assisted a lot as traveling long distances in their condition is not ideal," she said.

Somnene Clinic which is 70 percent complete

Bulilima Rural District Council Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Biliati Mulauzi confirmed that the clinics are at various levels of finality.

He said construction of the clinics is a major milestone for communities.

"The main structures for Temateme has been built to completion as well as two staff houses. The site has a borehole within the clinic which is solar powered. At Somnene Clinic the main block has been roofed and plastered and currently the community is working on the staff houses.

"For Diba Clinic the main block is at door height level while for Nyabane clinic work is being done on the trusses for the roof. The only clinic that is a bit behind is Figtree Clinic as construction is starting. These clinics will help reduce home deliveries, improve the general access to health services and reduce the high defaulting rates for TB drugs and ART for HIV," he said.

Source - Chronicle