Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
GOVERNMENT is set to accelerate rural development and improve the standard of living for the people through construction and maintenance of infrastructure under the Public Works Programme.
Speaking at the launch of the Public Works Programme in Ngoma Village, Ward 20 in Gwanda on Thursday, Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Abednico Ncube said projects that have been implemented so far include borehole drilling and road maintenance.
“The Public Works Programme is being implemented through the partnership of government departments or implementing partners and local communities with DDF providing technical advice in water and road related projects. The programme is spearheaded by DDF with a view to accelerating rural development and uplifting the living standards through construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, schools, clinics, boreholes, small to medium size dams and irrigation schemes,’’ said the Minister.
He said boreholes that had been drilled at Dendele Irrigation in Ward 20 would ensure crop production throughout the year thereby improving food security in the community.
Cde Ncube said 1 280 households in Matabeleland South Province were set to benefit under the Public Works Programme.
He said 2 471 kilometres of road works have been targeted under the programme. Cde Ncube said so far works on a 1 085 kilometre road network had started. Cde Ncube urged farmers to prepare for the rainy season which was fast approaching.
He encouraged farmers to plant early and to prioritise small grain crops as they are suitable for the region and have high chances of survival.
The Minister urged community members to take advantage of programmes that were being implemented by Government to alleviate food challenges as they were meant to benefit the people.
He urged various stakeholders to accelerate efforts to mitigate against the effects of drought.
“Our country hasn’t been spared from the negative effects of climate change that have been experienced globally. This had threatened our livelihoods as it has resulted in acute water shortages for domestic use and for our livestock. Our province hasn’t been spared from the severe effects of this drought,” the Minister said.
Speaking during the same event, DDF director for water supplies and maintenance, Engineer Edwin Toriro, assured the community that they would do their best to bring about development.
He said through the Public Works Programme, DDF was going to equip communities with the necessary skills and knowledge to enable them to maintain implemented projects. The Public Works Programme community members will work for 15 days for four hours a day and they will be paid $160 and also receive a bag of maize. The project comprises 2 471 kilometres of road maintenance works and construction of a classroom block at Ngoma Primary School among others. – @DubeMatutu