Lupane Provincial Hospital
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Huge projects light up Matabeleland North

MATABELELAND Provincial Affairs minister Richard Moyo says Lupane Provincial Hospital, which is scheduled to open its doors to patients at the end of the year, is yet more proof of the government’s determination to leave no one and no place behind when it comes to development.

The 250-bed hospital provides quality healthcare services in Matabeleland North, currently the only province in the country without a provincial hospital.

“The hospital is close to completion, a development which will ensure that people from this province don’t have to be referred to Mpilo Hospital (in Bulawayo Metropolitan province). “Lupane Provincial Hospital will also train health specialists, which will result in the availability of quality health services in the province.

This is yet more proof that the government is going out of its way to make this province a beacon of development,” said Moyo. Matabeleland North secretary for provincial affairs Sithandiwe Ncube concurred with Moyo.

“We are excited to note the steady progress and we hope by the end of the year the hospital will open its doors to the community. This will bring a new era in the health delivery system in the province and remote areas like Binga will be greatly relieved from travelling long distances to Bulawayo,” said Ncube.

During a tour of the 250-bed hospital two years ago, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Health minister, said it was unacceptable for a province as big as Matabeleland North, which has a population of close to 700 000, not to have a provincial hospital.

“This project, as you are aware, started way back in 2004. It had stalled to an unacceptable level. When the President visited Matabeleland North this matter was highlighted. We have been looking at ways of resuscitating all legacy projects which stalled during the First Republic and we want to fi nish them,” Chiwenga said at the time.

Lupane Hospital is one of several major projects being implemented in Matabeleland North by the government. According to a recent government report, over 435 projects have been implemented in Matabeleland North while 234 are at various stages of completion.

These include Lake Gwayi Shangani, which was first mooted in 1912 as a solution to the region’s water woes. The initiative’s pipeline, currently under construction, will set the stage for the creation of a greenbelt and livestock production, thereby transforming the province’s economy.

Recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa officially launched the Muchesu Coking Coal Project which was set up by London Alternative Investment (AIM)-listed miner-Contango Holdings. The Binga-based project is targeting to produce 20 000 tonnes of washed coking coal a month.

To boost food security in the province, the government is working on the Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation Scheme in Binga, which will see 15 000 hectares of land being utilised for fisheries, cotton and wheat farming.

Matabeleland North is also home to the Hwange 7 and 8 projects which have been implemented at a cost of US$ 1, 4 billion. These mammoth projects have added 600MW to the national electricity grid. Moyo said of the Hwange development: “This is a very huge project which has ripple effects on all sectors of the economy.”

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