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Beitbridge staff village brings relief to border workers

by Staff reporter
23 Jun 2023 at 06:27hrs | Views
The construction and completion of 220 houses for Government workers, as part of the US$300 million Beitbridge Border modernisation, has brought relief to most border agencies that had faced accommodation challenges over the past decades.

Before construction of the staff village, staff from the 22 Government agencies manning the Beitbridge Border Post had challenges deploying a full staff complement due to accommodation blues, thereby compromising service delivery.

But the Staff Village, which comprises 220 houses, has brought joy to staffers.

It was built through a partnership between the Government and the Zimborders Consortium. The housing development, an animal and plant quarantine facility, a new fire station, a new sewer oxidation dam, a new water reservoir with a carrying capacity of 11,4 mega litres are part of the out-of-port works under the transformation project.

Most of the projects have been completed while Zimborders is expected to wrap up the whole project by month end.

The houses were handed over to the Government in March and the occupants moved into the new facilities beginning of this month. Regional Immigration Officer-in-Charge of Beitbridge, Mr Joshua Chibundu, said: "As the Department of Immigration, we applaud the Government for border transformation that has also come with the housing development initiative.

"It is pleasing to note that most of the immigration officers highly appreciate the decent receipt of good houses.

"The availability of more housing units has resulted in most officers living in a full house, thus enabling them to house their families as opposed to the previous set-up whereby three officers shared one house."

Mr Chibundu added that after a full day of hard work, they naturally need decent accommodation to relax in preparation for the next day's work.

Therefore, he praised the Government for delivering its promise of houses, which allows all the agencies to deploy all the required staffers.

Mr Chibundu said although they still had a few officers sharing accommodation, their operational challenges had largely been fixed.

He said they had also requested their employer to deploy more workers to Beitbridge to match the border transformation.

Police Officer Commanding Beitbridge district, Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo said: "We appreciate the efforts by our Government to solve some of our challenges. Rome was not built in a day. The small number that benefitted is actually on cloud nine."

Beitbridge Border Post's head of agriculture plant inspectorate, Mr Levi Gama, said they had beefed up staff following the availability of more accommodation facilities.

He said most of their workers had secured houses, a development that has boosted their morale.

"It was a relief for us considering that the officers are now separated from the landlords, who at times, were their clients and thus, issues of bias are being eradicated where enforcement of regulations is concerned," said Mr Gama.

Beitbridge mayor, Councillor Munyaradzi Chitsunge, commended the Government recently for transforming the border town.

He said the new Staff Village was an important infrastructure development project that fits into the local authority's transformation drive.

Clr Chitsunge said they were grateful for the enhanced service delivery capacity and that they were now able to address water, sewer and waste management following the completion of an 11,4 mega litre water reservoir and a new sewer oxidation dam.

"The border modernisation project has changed the face of Beitbridge and we are now able to provide other critical services.

"We now have a new fire station, houses for government workers, a new water reservoir and a new look border which have changed the face of our town," said Clr Chitsunge.

The new Staff Village has 20 Type A houses for heads of department, with three detached bedrooms and 20 Type B houses with three bedrooms that are semi-detached.

Type C has 180 units, mostly densified (high rise flats) with two bedrooms to be shared by 180 junior staffers.

The Staff Village is a gated complex with its own independent sewer system consisting of a bio-digester.

In addition, the housing project has a clubhouse with a swimming pool, braai area and numerous playing areas for children.

Source - The Herald
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