Residents Voices – Issue 72

Social Welfare Should take care of Street Kids

Bulawayo residents have implored the Ministry of labour and Social Welfare to improve services to disadvantaged people in light of the increasing number of street kids in the city. Residents expressed concerns that little was being done to improve the plights of poor people in the country, not only street kids, orphaned children and senior citizens as well.

The numbers of beggars, street kids and vagabonds in the streets of Bulawayo has increased in recent years owing to the rough economic times the country has been facing. In a new turn of events, beggars, mostly children are now found even in residential areas such as Luveve and Emakhandeni, indicating that there are more people in need of assistance from the social welfare department. Residents said the government should allocate more funds towards social welfare services to match the increasing levels of poverty in communities.

Residents Burdened by High Burial Costs

Bulawayo residents have said the costs of burying their loved ones are too high making bereavement a more stressful and sad experience hence something should be done to offer more affordable services. Residents raised that the costs of services at funeral parlours were too high considering Zimbabwe’s economic standing. Currently costs of necessary burial services at these funeral parlours, including storage facilities, hiring of hearse, administration costs, cleaning and dressing and body removal combined cost at least $US300.

This is before factoring in costs of burial space, which are on average US$40 depending on burial area and other costs such as transportation and food for mourners. Residents said there is a need for funeral parlours, when coming up with their rates, to recognise that most people are either unemployed or poorly remunerated and therefore have difficulties giving their loved ones decent burials due to excessive costs. Residents have also called on the city council to reduce the costs of burial space.

Residents Request Borehole

Residents of Mahatshula suburb have implored the local authority and other stakeholders to set up a borehole in the suburb in support of a greenery project they are running that aims at establishing a recreational park in the area. To date, the residents have planted 200 trees at the designated area. One of the residents participating in the project, Mr Patrick Mlauzi told BPRA that the major challenge that is being faced in implementing the project is unavailability of water as rains have been scarce this season.

The residents decided to engage in the recreational project in an effort to preserve the environment. The efforts of the Mahatshula residents are in line with BPRA’s priorities in making Bulawayo a city of first choice in Zimbabwe. The association sees conservation of the environment as a fundamental component of sustainable development and has therefore on numerous occasions engaged in tree planting activities around Bulawayo.

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