Govt should engage locals

CHIPINGE The Zimbabwe government of national unity should reintroduce the concept of involving communities in development projects to achieve rapid growth, an expert said last week.

A Community Officer for a Non Governmental Organisation called Rural Development Projects Centre, Elvis Masocha, said that in the past the concept enabled the government to reduce costs of implementing development projects in rural areas.

Communities can contribute immensely to development in their areas as they can mobilise resources among themselves, he said.

In an interview with The Zimbabwean during the tour of rural projects in Chipinge, Masocha said the government could attract professionals to work in rural areas through involving communities in developing infrastructure such as accommodation, roads and bridges.

He said communities could contribute through moulding bricks as well as providing labour to build infrastructure. The government should also involve communities in emergencies through enlisting services of volunteers.

Discussing and planning solutions with communities is critical as it can propel development in the country, he said.

Masocha said communities could assist the government in compiling information about challenges in their areas as well as crafting responses.

Involvement of communities enabled the government to develop rural areas rapidly soon after independence. The government abandoned the policy and started to finance capital projects from the national budget, a feat which has proved difficult as hyperinflation saw costs of materials escalating astronomically, he observed.

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