VICTORIA FALLS – Air Traffic Controllers Association of Zimbabwe (Atcaz) has started mobilising resources to build a clinic at an estimated cost of $87 000 to alleviate the plight of villagers who have for years been travelling long distances to access primary health care in the Chidobe area of rural Hwange District.
The clinic will be constructed near the Victoria Falls Airport, about 21 km from the resort town where a “forgotten” community of about 8 000 families in Lipinyu village under chief Mvuthu resides.
Speaking to the Daily News on the sidelines of the project launch in the resort town over the weekend, Atcaz secretary Moses Nhachi said the association was complementing government’s effort to expand health care to marginalised communities.
“The idea is to assist the community living around the airport. For years we have realised that these people have been travelling for over 20km passing through predator-infested game area to access the nearest primary health facility,” Nhachi said.
“It is part of our priorities to identify needy areas and try in our own means to assist.
“As you may be aware, this is not the first time we have done such a kind gesture in Masvingo and Bulawayo, we previously have helped in different ways.”
Various stakeholders including Atcaz members have pledged their support to the ground breaking project which is earmarked to get off the ground in April next year.
The Hwange Rural District Council has already provided a piece of land where the structure will be constructed.
The local authority has also offered its services free of charge in form of construction vehicles and a variety of building material.
A trust fund composed of local reputable organisations and individuals has been set up.
“To ensure transparency, accountability and oversight, we engaged various reputable people who have volunteered to stretch their service for the cause of the project as trustees,” Nhachi said.
The association has already mobilised building material worth thousands of dollars as well as cash.
The health centre will comprise a consultation room, maternity wing, male and female wards.
Matabeleland North minister of State for Provincial affairs, Cain Mathema and Victoria Falls town Mayor Sifiso Mpofu officiated at the event which coincided with International Day of the Air Traffic Controller commemorations.