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Diamond proceeds support over 100 women, agriculture sector and schools in Chiadzwa

Story by Theophilus Chuma

The country’s diamond industry has opened doors for hundreds of families in Chiadzwa area of Manicaland province, with more than one hundred women having been empowered with life-skills under various community projects.

Diamond mining has come with vast economic opportunities across the world and in Zimbabwe the industry is assisting to develop local communities through providing jobs, education and healthcare.

In the heart of the Chiadzwa diamond fields in Manicaland province, lies a story of hope and economic emancipation, women who have been empowered through various life skills and now provide critical support for the Zimbabwe Diamond Consolidated Mining Company.

This is the story of women like Judith Bvumbi, who heads a team providing protective clothing and uniforms to the ZCDC.

“I look at the journey with pride. Working in this industry where I may not be the one mining for the diamonds, but I am benefiting from this rich resource through providing this critical service. We have been trained to do this along with over one hundred other members from this community and this extends to benefit beyond just those who have been trained,” she said.

Theirs is a story of hope anchored on a precious mineral that has become a reliable source of livelihood outside the mining shafts.

Mrs Sharon Chinyenze is the Head at Chiwadzwa Primary School, one of the schools where diamond resources have been used to upgrade infrastructure.

She said: “The modernisation of this school has upgraded the learning environment for our students. We are now able to provide ICT lessons for the children and also the modern classrooms helps to build confidence among the kids. We are very grateful for the support.”

At national level, government has come up with an initiative of leaving no one and no place behind.

Each year, over US$200 000 from diamond sales is being utilised to support education and agricultural projects in Chiadzwa and Marange, according to the ZCDC Head of Communications, Mr Sugar Chagonda.

He said, “We have a corporate social responsibility programme to support various communal programmes. For example, we are currently looking at growing the herd in this area through a partnership with the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society artificial insemination programme. But this is something still under discussion. Currently, we have women who are supplying all our horticultural requirements.”

Expectations are that more is in the offing as explained by Chiadzwa Share Ownership Trust chief executive officer, Dr Hardwork Mukwada, who concurred diamonds are positively impacting their community with an outline of the successes posted over the last 3 years.

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