Zaka District Ward 18, A Community Without Health Care Facilities

Source: Zaka District Ward 18, A Community Without Health Care Facilities

Zaka ward 18, one of the least developed wards in Zaka District does not have a single health care facility. Speaking during a Community Engagement Meeting facilitated by the Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD), the residents expressed concern over the lack of progress towards the construction of the recently approved Chinyamuzinda Clinic in Jerifanos Village in Zaka Central Constituency.

The Chinyamuzinda Clinic is expected to be the first health care centre in ward 18. Currently villagers walk long distances to access health services from clinics in other wards including Siyawareva Clinic, Jerera Clinic and Musiso Mission Hospital which is about 10 kilometres away from ward 18.

A community leader in Zaka district had this to say; “What we have picked from the discussions we had with people is that the community is in dire need of health care services and facilities in ward 18, therefore as community leaders we engaged our public officials and acquired land for the construction of the clinic. However what is lacking now are funds to kick-start the clinic construction process”.

The villagers expressed that they have pushed and sacrificed a lot until the Zaka Rural District Council (RDC) approved and pegged the Chinyamuzinda Clinic, however the public officials seem to have abandoned the project since the construction process has not yet started. Despite the lack of political will by public officials, the young people have been supportive towards the project through mobilizing people who provide labour at the clinic site.

The young people in support of traditional leaders and other community members have started clearing the clinic site, carrying sand using buckets and wheelbarrows from close by rivers to the clinic site. However, fundraising and engagements are currently being done with local business people, public officials and the diaspora to help the community with any form of assistance they can afford towards the construction of Chinyamuzinda Clinic.

COTRAD calls upon the Zaka Rural District Council and public officials to respond to the social service delivery and infrastructure development concerns raised by community members. Public officials and local authorities should consult communities of their priorities before implementing community development projects and programs. COTRAD also encourages the villagers to fearlessly and peacefully engage public officials and relevant ministries to present issues affecting their communities. The Zaka Rural District Council should prioritize and attempt to improve health service delivery through the construction of Chinyamuzinda Clinic and other clinics in different parts of the district. It is enshrined under section 276 of the constitution that the rural district councils should raise sufficient revenue for them to carry out objectives and responsibilities in areas of their jurisdiction.

Video Below: Zaka residents speaking about the Chinyamuzinda Clinic: