By Moses Chuma
ABOUT four hundred women from Plumtree town have become champions of local development initiatives after volunteering to participate in a local clean-up initiative which has seen them keeping the border town litter-free.
The group which identifies itself as Bhatanani — a Kalanga term which, when loosely translated, means “unite”, is led by women who are convinced that they have an obligation to develop their community.
“We believe that as citizens of this community, we have the responsibility to participate in its development even without getting remuneration at the end of our work,” Leavitt Ndlovu one of the leaders of the group, said.
Concerned about the health of their community theses women have since established hygiene clubs in the town’s six wards.
“We have clubs from all the six wards. In these wards we have six focal persons whose role is to mobilise others and give feedback in stakeholder meetings,” Ndlovu said.
Lwazi Moyo, a member of the club told Plumtree Development Trust’s Getjenge Community Radio that she was happy to be part of the hygiene clubs.
“Taking part in keeping our town clean helps us as a community to evade some of the diseases that are associated with dirty environments,” Moyo said.
“Ignoring rubbish around us will not help but result in diseases such as cholera and malaria.”
Lunia Khumalo, who is one of the leaders of the clubs urged youths – who are often disengaged from community development initiatives to join the clubs as well.
“We work with youths, but we encourage those who have not yet joined us to consider helping in the cleanups,” Khumalo said. “Out of their commitment, they might end up getting employed by some of the organisations that we work with.”
Khumalo added that they were worried that other community members were dodgy when it comes to participating in the initiative adding that “everyone has a responsibility to participate in local development initiatives without expecting payment.”
The clubs work with Plumtree Town Council and other partners – who provide technical support and capacity development. – Editing by Divine Dube.