Devolution spurs key infrastructure projects in Bulilima
Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Matabeleland South Bureau Chief
GOVERNMENT has over the last three years availed $84 million in devolution funds to Bulilima Rural District Council which has been used to develop key infrastructure such as schools and Plumtree’s water supply system among other projects.
With social amenities and infrastructure development being some of the major pillars of the National Development Strategy (NDS1), Bulilima Rural District Council has dedicated the larger chunk of devolution funds to health and education.
The district has for years suffered deficiencies in the provision of adequate health care and educational facilities. Things started changing for the better around 2019 when the New Dispensation started consistently releasing funds to boost the local authority’s capacity to meet service delivery obligations.
The devolution funds coupled with involvement of the community and diasporans has brought significant development to Bulilima District.
Government led by President Mnangagwa saw it prudent to operationalise the devolution concept as enshrined in the Constitution, resulting in five percent of fiscal disbursement from Treasury being made to local authorities.
The funds have transformed several districts in the Matabeleland region in particular and the country in general, as the Second Republic steps up the inclusive developmental philosophy of leaving no one and no place behind.
Bulilima Rural District Council acting chief executive officer, Mr Biliati Mlauzi said the devolution funds have come in handy to ensure timeous completion of projects, including those initiated by community members.
Mr Mlauzi said the devolution funds and community resources have helped to address service delivery in critical areas of health and education service delivery.
“We managed to construct a classroom block and staff cottage at Tjemahale Primary School and $2,8 million was allocated towards the project which has been completed. We managed to construct a classroom block at Mafa Primary School and $1,7 million was allocated towards the project.
Construction of a classroom block at Huwana Primary School is underway and $1,7 million was allocated towards the project.
“We have also allocated $1,7 million towards constructing a classroom block Zompata Primary School and $1,3 million towards a classroom block at Ndiweni Primary School.
“We also reconstructed a classroom block at Goba Junior School. All these projects under the education sector will ensure that children have adequate learning space and the distance walked by learners to school will be reduced,” he said.
Mr Mlauzi said some of the schools were already operational and needed more infrastructure while some were new projects.
He said they also managed to rehabilitate a classroom block at Ntambana Primary School using devolution funds after the roof was blown away by strong winds.
The council has also rehabilitated other schools which include Tjompani, Tjehanga, Hingwe, Ndolwane and Fairview primary schools using devolution funds.
At Tsukuru Primary School council reconstructed a classroom block which had been severely damaged by the rains. About half a million was allocated towards the project.
Mr Mlauzi said the devolution funds have helped to spruce up some learning facilities which were now in a dire state.
Under the health care sector, Mr Mlauzi said funds have been allocated towards constructing Somnene Clinic, which is a project that was started by the community. He said the clinic, once completed, will improve access to health care services for communities.
Mr Mlauzi said the project, which is 80 percent complete, was started by the community, but council used devolution funds so that it can be completed timeously.
He said there is also an allocation towards constructing a staff cottage at Gambu Clinic. He said funds have also been allocated towards assisting in constructing a number of health centres that include Livuluma, Gwambe, Makumbi, Mbimba, Malalume, Mambo and Bezu clinics.
Mr Mlauzi said they have also allocated devolution funds towards road maintenance works.
Devolution funds are assisting local authorities fulfil their obligation of ensuring improved access to social amenities across the country through development of key infrastructure such as clinics, classroom blocks, roads, bridges, among other facilities.
Social amenities and infrastructure development are some of the major pillars of the NDS1.
The devolution programme is one of the key pillars under the NDS1, which is the country’s first five-year medium term plan aimed at realising the country’s Vision 2030 while simultaneously addressing the global aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa Agenda 2063.
The overarching goal of the NDS1 is to ensure high, accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth as well as socio-economic transformation and development as the country moves towards an upper middle-income society by 2030. — @DubeMatutu