Bulilima community built clinics near completion

15 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Bulilima community built clinics near completion

The Sunday News

Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Sunday News Reporter
TWO clinics which started off as community initiatives in Bulilima District in Matabeleland South Province are finally coming to fruition as construction works are in the final stage, with the projects set to be operational by next month.

The main structure at Mbimba Clinic in Ward 10 has been completed.

Two cottages at the clinic have also been completed while construction of a third cottage is at an advanced stage.

At Malalume Clinic in Ward 14, the main structure has been completed with painting works still outstanding. Two cottages have been completed while the third is at roof level.

The two projects started off as community initiatives in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

Villagers contributed funds to assist in constructing the clinic. Along the way, the council allocated funds towards the two projects.

Photo Credit: Vector Stock

An investor, Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier came on board last year and assisted with funding to build the two clinics.

Mbimba and Malalume clinics now need equipment in order to be operational as the investor has only catered for the infrastructure.

Villagers from the two areas have been walking about 10 kilometres in order to reach the nearest health facilities.

In Mbimba area, some of the villagers illegally cross into Botswana to access medical services from health centres there with the assistance of villagers from the neighbouring country as they are nearer.

A villager from Mbimba area, Mr Lazarus Khumalo said they realised the need for a clinic but they did not have funds to construct it.

“As a community we realised the need to have a clinic so in 2011 we decided to contribute some money in order to buy building material.

The desire to complete the project was there but we were moving at a very slow pace as we didn’t have enough funds.

On some months we would contribute something but on other months we would fail,” he said.

Mr Khumalo added: “We were relieved when the council allocated funds towards the clinic but they were, however, not enough to complete the project.

An investor came in and that’s when we made significant strides in completing the project.

We are now happy to see the project finally coming to an end.

Soon our clinic will be operational and that means we won’t have to walk long distances to access health care services.”

Ms Sibusiso Dlamini from Malalume area said it was very difficult to access health care services.

She said they either walk 15 kilometres to Nswazi Clinic or 10 kilometres to Madlambuzi Clinic.

Ms Dlamini said they looked forward to the opening of the clinic. She said they were really struggling to transport critical patients to the clinic as well as expecting mothers.

“This clinic project is our brain child as we came up with the idea as a community and started it.

We are grateful to council and the investor which has come in to ensure that our project becomes a success.

The clinic also has staff cottages which will ensure that it is properly run.

It’s our desire that the clinic gets equipment soon so that we can start using it,” she said.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto

Ward 14 councillor Delani Mabhena said the community will now be guaranteed of improved health care services. She said the community will also house a waiting mother’s shelter which will assist expecting mothers.

Ward 10 councillor Zoolakes Nyathi who is also Bulilima Rural District Council chairperson said his ward does not have a clinic and this one will cover a huge gap.

He said seven wards will benefit from the clinic.

“The aim is to ensure that all communities within the district can easily access health care services.

This means that distances walked by people must be reduced and also there is a need to build state of the art health centres throughout the district.

“Mbimba and Malalume clinics are part of these efforts.

As councillors we are working with council to ensure that we bring more investors on board in order to ensure development within the district,” said Clr Nyathi.

Bulilima Rural District Council acting chief executive officer Mr Biliati Mlauzi said Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier first came on board to sponsor campfire activities.

He said the organisation then moved on to fund construction of the two clinics as well as other developmental projects in the district.

Mr Mlauzi said the funding covered construction work for the two clinics.

He said they were now working with other partners to secure furniture and equipment for the two clinics.

Mr Mlauzi said the plan was to open the two clinics next month. – @DubeMatutu

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