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Social media gets Plumtree Rolling as Sakhisizwe Development Association lays down Temateme Clinic.
Sakhisizwe Development Trust (SDA) has joined hands in developing Plumtree through building a community initiated clinic in Ward 23 in Bulilima East District. The initiative comes in the wake of vast community initiated projects that are dotted across many communities of the border town having sprouted following the town’s adoption of social media especially WhatsApp and using it as an information sharing platform in the absence of media coverage.
Sakhisizwe Development Association (SDA) is a community based non-profit making organisation (CBO) which was formed in May 2015 at the Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg, South Africa by diaspora members from Ward 23 of Plumtree’s Bulilima West District. Like Plumtree Development Trust (PDT) and other community based organisations in Zimbabwe’s Kalanga heartland, SDA has harnessed WhatsApp to use it to discuss community development instead of the app’s traditional role of reaching to family and friends. SDA currently has huge membership both in the diaspora and back home in Zimbabwe, Ward 23.
In an interview on WhatsApp, chairperson for SDA Getmore Moyo told Plumtree Development Trust that lack of meaningful development many years after the country got its independence in 1980 led him and his colleagues in the Diaspora to form the association which subsequently initiated the construction of a community initiated clinic.
“Prior to forming this humble association we met on several occasions trying to identify one project that could identify with the needs of our people as we had no road, no reliable water source, no secondary school and no healthy facility. We finally came up with the clinic which, in our view had the potential to bring more meaningful infrastructural push in the form of a reliable transport network and possibly a clinic to mention but a few”.
Ward 23 is one of the remotest areas in Plumtree’s Bulilima East District. With poor roads and therefore no bus, villagers from the ward are forced to walk long distances towards the nearest clinic, Madlambudzi Rural Health Centre which is 24 km away in another ward. Most expecting mothers in the area either give birth at home or pay large sums of money to be taken to Plumtree District Hospital which is also 80km away.
Moyo further said that as Diaspora members of the association they came up with ways to mobilise funds for the construction of the clinic.
“We hold meetings in Johannesburg every second Sunday of the month where we contribute the agreed minimum of R50 per person which all channelled towards the construction of our clinic back home. We opened an account solely for this purpose and we have three signatories who are answerable to the committee and the whole Sakhisizwe family.”
According to Moyo, the diaspora community is an intergral part of Ward 23 which also feels the pain that their parents back home go through in trying to access the vital services that have become more of a luxury than a necessity.
“In December 2015 we sent home R10 000 to pay our builders. At the beginning of June 2016, we sent one community member home with another R10 000 which managed to buy 55 bags of cement for the project,” Moyo said.
At the moment, the clinic which shall be called Temateme Clinic is at slab level as funds are not permitting the villagers to speed up their project.
Moyo said even though progress seems to be slow for now, they will not give up on their dear project.
“We are appealing for help from well-wishers and donors in order to complete this very relevant project which is meant to bring about relief to our almost forgotten community,” stated Moyo.
Since their adoption of social media especially WhatsApp for communication for development, communities across Plumtree have mobilised each other to establish many community initiated development projects like the Macingwana Clinic, Marula Feedlots and Secondary School among others. The most dramatic achievement however was the commissioning of a clinic in Tokwana Village by the Minister of Health and Child Welfare barely a few days after President Mugabe had levelled insults against members of the Kalanga tribe based in South Africa when early last year (2015) he called them thieves.
The active involvement of the diaspora members of Plumtree in developing their communities, especially those based in South Africa is also another move that clearly nullifies President Mugabe’s insults that he levelled against members of the Kalanga tribe based in South Africa when early last year (2015) he called them thieves.By Plumtree, Development Trust-.