Fungi Kwaramba–Political Editor
THE Government is committed to providing basic amenities such as roads, water and clinics to new settlements as part of implementing development that leaves no one and no place behind, President Mnangagwa has said.
Speaking at the handover of a state-of-the-art clinic constructed in partnership with a British company, NMS Infrastructure Limited, in Stoneridge, Harare South yesterday, President Mnangagwa said altogether 30 clinics will be built around the country through the US$200 million loan facility from the United Kingdom government, itself another sign of the success of the Second Republic’s re-engagement policy.
“My Government is unwavering in its commitment to accelerate the provision of adequate social infrastructure for new settlements which have been established around our cities, as a result of urban expansion. In this particular case, it is disheartening that the people of Harare South have suffered from limited access to social service infrastructure since the establishment of this community.
“Since my last visit to this area, it is disturbing that the implementation of a comprehensive framework on land use planning and infrastructure provision of basic services is not in place.
“This ought to include suitable road networks, formal schools and access to safe potable water. The undue and unjustifiable delays are not acceptable and against the work culture of the Second Republic”.
Accompanied by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, the President, who toured the facility that was designed and built by locals, directed the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to ensure that social amenities were provided to the community.
“Modern and people-centred projects must be rolled out informed by our targets outlined in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and the aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The timely completion of this Stoneridge Clinic by NMS Infrastructure Limited will go a long way towards servicing the people of Harare South and surrounding communities.
“It will further reduce the distances travelled by our people to access healthcare, especially women and children”.
Stoneridge Health Centre has an outpatient, maternity, ART and inpatient facilities.
It will be mirrored across all the country’s districts.
“Health facilities of this nature dovetail with my Administration’s development philosophy of ‘leaving no one and no place behind’. In light of the above, the construction of Cowdray Park Clinic in Bulawayo, Mataga Clinic in Mberengwa, and Runyararo Clinic in Chimanimani, under Phase One of the project, should be speeded up,” President Mnangagwa said.
“It is important to note that these facilities will be fully furnished with modern equipment and other medical accessories and consumables.
“The envisaged construction of maternity wards in all the targeted health facilities will go a long way in enhancing maternal health care and further help in the reduction of maternal mortality.
“The speedy and successful completion of the projects under Phase One will unlock the release of additional funds under the loan facility, that way resulting in the construction of the remaining 26 clinics and five District Hospitals”.
The President also commissioned 40 ambulances, 32 of which were bought by Government while eight were a donation from the UNDP.
He said 100 more state of the art ambulances are on their way as part of his commitment to improving the health sector.
The modern ambulances will be distributed to rural areas and high density suburbs.
“In line with the devolution and decentralisation agenda, I direct that the 40 ambulances commissioned today, be distributed to communities around the country with the greatest need. In the same vein, I challenge our health authorities and personnel to take good care of the medical equipment and the ambulances”.
President Mnangagwa also saluted frontline workers for their sterling job in keeping the Covid-19 pandemic at bay and warned the public against dropping their guard as the virus is still around.
“I take the opportunity of this gathering to express my gratitude to our front line workers, and the health personnel in particular, for their hard work, devotion and sacrifice which has kept our nation relatively safe from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“However, I challenge the nation to remain alert and vigilant as the pandemic is still with us. We must never let our guard down, more so as the winter season is upon us. Let us also continue to wear our masks, sanitise our hands and practice social distancing,” he said.