During a week at the end of February, ICLD conducted team visits to several teams in rural districts of Zimbabwe, that are part of the fifth cohort of the “Zimbabwe Leadership Programme”. Within this programme, all participants combine their strategical leadership challenges with the challenges of the district, which are well in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, to work on their local Change Projects.
ICLD visits the teams to examine how the project is going and to detect if any further support is needed. It is one of several important components within the programme, along with local politicians being part of the programme, the team-based approach, and the combination of theory and practice. Together, these phases make sure that the development and conclusion of the programme are as successful as possible.
The Binga Rural District Council-team (BRDC) consists of a gender focal person and an IT specialist, Daphine Munsaka, and Councillor Judith Sibanda. Judith is the only female councillor out of 25 in the Binga district. The Change Project the team will be working with for their community members during the programme is a waste management project, to install colour-marked waste bins on three locations in the centre of the district. Another development project close to heart for the BRDC-team is a gender program, aimed at gender mainstreaming, to sharpen more women on gender issues and get ready for leadership positions.
In the Bubi Rural District Council, Council administrator Siqubumtheto Dube and Councillor Cookie Moyo are facing many challenges to meet the needs of the citizens in the district, such as insufficient infrastructure, bad roads and lack of employment for the youth. Therefore, their Change Project aims at creating better access to water for more citizens, especially women in ward 14, so that the locals don’t need to walk so far to get water. In ward 15 the women and men are already having better living conditions after a solar-driven pump and borehole was installed. But due to a shortage, people have to take turns and are not able to collect water every day, as the resources need to be distributed to all households.
Nomusa Dube, an engineer in the Bulilima Rural District Council and her team partner in the training, Councillor Philip Mpofu, gave us a detailed picture of their challenges and highlighted food insecurity, teenage pregnancies, gender-based violence, and illiterate communities e.g., as main challenges ahead. Solutions presented by the team is to encourage youth to stay in school and value education since school dropout is high as well as migration of youth to neighbouring countries.
The team’s main change objective is to build a new school in Tjemahale that will shorten the journey distance by 10 kilometres for children enrolled in four different existing schools. The team also showed us the ongoing construction of a much needed new health clinic in the district that is becoming a reality thanks to community engagement and a bottom-up approach, with the community initiating the project and forming a steering group.
Read more about the Zimbabwe Leadership Programme here!