Diaspora to help develop Mat North

The Matabeleland North Diaspora Development Forum is set to distribute developmental resources to Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland North province.

Based in South Africa, the Forum was launched last year by Zimbabweans from the province who will soon distribute school textbooks and hospital linen among other items. They also plan to capacitate locals to alleviate poverty in the region.

Mfundo Sibanda Gabheni, MDDF chairperson, said the project would complement government’s efforts to develop the country’s poorest province. Local authorities will be notified of the distributions in due course.

“Schools like Masungamala Primary in Lupane district, which only have two classrooms and mud cottages, are a classic reason why the province needs development,” said Gabheni, adding that MDDF would initiate and support income generating projects as a vehicle to empower the communities.

The projects include poultry, mushroom growing and small-scale plastic bag potato farming. Locals will also be assisted to form developmental project cooperatives and establish sustainable developmental projects.

Matabeleland North province is rated the poorest in the country despite being endowed with an abundance of natural resources such as coal and tourism attractions. Zimbabwe’s biggest coal mining activities at Hwange and Makomo Resources contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product

According to the International Food Agriculture Development, 70 percent of the province’s rural population is classified as poor or extremely poor.

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