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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Mwenezi devolution projects transform communities

Story by Gay Matambo

THE devolution programme is playing a pivotal role in enhancing access to education and healthcare in Mwenezi District.

Villagers in Njelele area, Mwenezi North Constituency were travelling more than 15 kilometres to access the nearest health care facilities in Lundi area or Rutenga.

However, the script is set to change for the better, after Mwenezi Rural District Council channelled part of its 2023 devolution funds towards the construction of Petronella Clinic, which is almost complete.

Once completed, the clinic will benefit close to 10 000 people from Njelele area and surrounding communities.

“We can’t wait for our clinic to be commissioned because we travel to Lundi or Rutenga to get medical assistance. We thank the Second Republic for remembering us. For us women, it was difficult because sometimes our babies or children would fall sick at night and one has to part with at least two cows for transport money to go to the hospital “ said a villager.

“Many times especially during the rainy season, people here would die of malaria and cholera. We have seen it happening because sometimes our roads will not be trafficable for people to go and seek medical attention as streams and rivers will be full to capacity,” another said.

Fiscal disbursements under the devolution programme have seen the Mwenezi Rural District Council prioritise community initiated health and education infrastructure development.

“Since the inception of the devolution programme, we have implemented 45 projects and of these 45, 37 have been completed and Petronella Clinic is one of the seven projects which are still ongoing, but are now at final stages and these include classroom blocks at Bubi Primary School, Valley Primary School, Shangarumwe Primary School and also Nyangambe Primary School. We expect to complete these projects in the shortest possible time,” said Mwenezi Rural District Council Chief Executive Officer, Mr Albert Chivanga.

The devolution programme dovetails with the Second Republic’s inclusive development agenda which seeks to leave no one and no place behind as explained by Mwenezi District Development Co-ordinator, Mr Isaac Mutambara.

“We are seeing a huge transformation in Mwenezi District, thanks to government for availing devolution funds. We are seeing local authorities and communities here being able to implement developmental projects through the devolution funds. The devolution programme has also enabled Mwenezi District to address colonial imbalances as this area was mainly comprised of white farms so there were no adequate schools and clinics but the devolution programme is spearheading infrastructure development in Mwenezi.”

In 2018, the Second Republic fully implemented the devolution policy to ensure the development of previously marginalised communities through the construction of critical infrastructure which includes health care facilities, roads, bridges and schools, among others.

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