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New farmers’ health services nightmare

Other affected resettlement areas are Sovelele and Battlefields. Sabelo Dube, a father of four said deaths from contagious but curable diseases had become common in the resettlement area.

“I moved from Mberengwa after the government promised us better lives but now I am regretting ever coming here,” Dube said. “We have to travel 15km everyday to fetch water from Mucheni river and if one falls sick they will have to travel 40km to Rutenga clinic.”

He said many people had died on their way to the clinic because of the long distance while others would not even attempt because they would not have the means to do so.

Another villager, Miriam Mpofu said her 10-year-old son died of cholera last year as she tried to take him to the clinic.

“When I realised that he was sick I tried to look for a scotch cart to ferry him to the clinic but unfortunately my neighbour who owns one was not around,” Mpofu said.
“I had to travel on foot but we did not reach the clinic as my son had passed away.”

The villagers said the number of women dying while giving birth was also on the increase as most midwives in the area were poorly trained. Mpofu said newly born babies were also dying because of lack of proper health care.


Mwenezi East MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said although the authorities were aware of the conditions in resettlement areas, nothing much could be done because of a shortage of resources.

“We are looking for funds to improve the conditions in resettlement areas,” Bhasikiti said.
“But we are also encouraging them to be hygienic so that they will not be affected by diseases such as cholera although it is difficult to do it without clean water.”

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