RELOCATED Chiadzwa villagers at Arda Transau are demanding sustainable community-based empowerment projects to assist them shake off “the dependency syndrome”.
Since their relocation three years ago, the community at Arda Transau has been surviving on quarterly food handouts from diamond companies in Chiadzwa.
In an interview with NewsDay on the sidelines of the media tour of Arda Transau where 100 families were resettled, the chairperson of the community development committee Jesca Mwashita said the community wanted to shrug off the dependency syndrome.
“We want community-based income generating projects. We want to do something sustainable for our families,” Mwashita said. “We have identified several projects so far, but we want to start with poultry. We no longer want to be cry-babies. We cannot go to Mbada Diamonds for everything. We want to start a crèche here for our children and proceeds from such projects could be used in that regard.”
Mwashita said the families that were relocated from the Mbada Diamonds mining concessions were still waiting for compensation for property destroyed during the relocation exercise.
Other villagers said they wanted an improvement on water services in terms of tap water and more boreholes. People at Arda Transau were each allocated four-roomed houses and a thatched kitchen on a one-hectare plot.
Mbada Diamonds chief executive officer Patience Khumalo said several projects were being lined up to help the community. The company’s corporate services executive George Manyaya added Mbada Diamonds had already constructed a fowl run in the area that would be commissioned soon.
“The fowl run will accommodate 10 000 birds at a time and Mbada Diamonds will be their primary customer. This will be a community project and we are working with the District Administrator’s Office and other experts from Magamba Training Centre and Africa University to ensure that this project will be a success,” Manyaya said.
The company has also constructed five school blocks at Wellington Primary School that were awaiting commissioning.