Zimbabwe: Mashonaland Central Praises First Lady On Tree Planting

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Zimbabwe: Mashonaland Central Praises First Lady On Tree Planting

Fungai Lupande Mashonaland Central Bureau

Mashonaland Central has applauded First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa for her efforts in afforestation and restoring the environment through planting of trees across the country.

The First Lady is the country’s environment patron and through her tree planting campaign, she has managed to positively change the mindset of people into adopting tree planting as a good practice.

Last Friday, the First Lady provided seedling of more than 2,000 trees, including fruit trees, which were planted at Maria Theresa health post in Ward 10, Chiweshe.

Amai Mnangagwa built the facility from her personal savings and named it after her late mother.

The health post offers outpatient, maternal and child health services and Amai Mnangagwa sourced some of the equipment from her Angel of Hope Foundation’s partners.

Plans are afoot to build a waiting shelter for expectant mothers before the official opening of the facility.

The trees, which were planted on Friday, are expected to provide fruits for the patient’s nutrition and shade.

Courtesy of the First Lady, the province is closing in on its target of planting three million trees this year.

So far, two million trees have been planted and the seedlings to meet the target are available.

Mashonaland Central Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Monica Mavhunga, represented the First Lady and led the community in planting 2 015 trees.

The national tree planting was launched by President Mnangagwa.

Of the trees planted at Maria Theresa Clinic, there are gum trees for the establishment of a plantation, which will act as a wind break for the clinic.

There were also fruit trees for the nutritional support of patients and mahogany to provide shade for the sick.

Minister Mavhunga applauded the First Lady for remembering where she came from and improving the standard of living for rural communities.

She said the clinic was now operational and will be officially opened soon so that people do not continue traveling long distances to access health facilities.

“The First Lady has come several times to this province supporting the tree planting programme,” said Minister Mavhunga. “We thank the First Lady who is the patron of Environment and Tourism for giving us the right direction in maintaining our environment.

“The tree planting program is resuscitating our forests which were heavily affected by deforestation. Planting of trees is not for the Forestry Commission alone, but everyone has a duty to restore forests.

“Late last year, we witnessed the President launching the Presidential Rural Horticulture Development Program which includes planting of trees and maintaining our environment.”

Minister Mavhunga said the program will cascade to village and household level with nutritional gardens and orchards being established.

Tobacco farming is one of the top contributors to deforestation in the province and Minister Mavhunga urged farmers to establish woodlots.

She said the theme of this year’s tree planting, “Trees and forests for ecosystem restoration and improved livelihoods”, challenges citizens to restore forests in the next 10 years in line with United Nations declarations.

“Let us unite and dedicate ourselves towards improving our environment,” said Minister Mavhunga. “Innovations like the tsotso stove also help in the reduction of the cutting down of trees for domestic use.”

Mazowe Rural District Council chairperson Mr John Mudzonga said the district had a shortage of health facilities and applauded Amai Mnangagwa for remembering her people.

“This development by the First Lady has challenged us as a local authority and our desire is to have a clinic in each ward. Our budget for this year will go towards completing Gombekombe and Chigwida clinics,” he said.

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“We will then start Goredema Primary School in this ward which will only accommodate Early Childhood Learning.”

Ward 10 Councilor, Chakabvepi Chinhema, thanked the First Lady for building the clinic, the first one in the ward.

“This clinic was built from the First Lady’s coffers,” he said. “The clinic has plans to expand and establish a waiting mothers’ shelter and VIAC center (Visual inspection with acetic acid and cervicography).”

Maria Theresa Clinic has brought relief to people in Ward 10 who used to travel for 15km to Rosa Rural Hospital to access health services.

Mazowe has a shortage of clinics and the new clinic has decongested Rosa Rural Hospital, which services wards 8, 9, 10 and 12.

Others, the villagers narrated, lost their lives after developing complications while giving birth at home.

The community is grateful to the First Lady for bringing health services to their doorstep.