BY RICHARD MUPONDE
BREASTFEEDING mothers from Malalume Village in Plumtree walk 24 kilometres to Nswazwi clinic once a week to receive two cups of supplementary porridge and attend baby clinic, a situation that has forced the community to build its own clinic.
This was revealed by Malalume Clinic building committee chairperson Fidelis Sola to Minister of State in Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s Office, Eveline Ndlovu who was the guest of honour at the clinic’s fundraising function on Saturday.
Sola said all community members, faced by the dilemma, mooted the plan in August 2013 and worked with their children in the diaspora to build a health facility in the area.
“Our women are travelling 24 kilometres to and from Nswazwi Clinic, which is the closest, to get a donation of two cups of porridge. Villagers also travel the same distance to seek medical services. Faced with the problem, we decided to construct this clinic. It’s a community project funded by our children in South Africa and Bulawayo. We also received assistance from the Community Development Fund from the late former legislator Lungisani Ndazi Ndazi Nleya to build a staff cottage and paint it,” Sola said.
Targetted for completion by June 1, the project has, however, been delayed by financial constraints. Ward 14 councillor, Delani Mabhena said their major challenge was water shortages because their borehole had run dry.
“We are supposed to build two more staff cottages to make them three as per government requirements. At the main clinic structure, we are left with the ceiling, plumbing and window panes. Roofing was done by the army. Our problem is water because the community-funded borehole has run dry. We are appealing for a borehole that will serve both the clinic and the community,” he said.
Bulilima Rural District Council chief executive officer, John Ncube commended the community for the project and urged other wards to emulate them. He said council is donating $1 400 for window panes.
The community raised $3 000 at the function, with local MP Dingimuzi Phuti donating $600; Ndlovu $1 000; Plumtree Bakery 30 bags of cement; Gatsheni Bus Service ($150) and the remainder came from small businesses, schools, churches and villagers.