By Matabeleland North Correspondent
CHINESE engineering company, Sino Hydro has donated $1,5 million and 15 000 face masks for the Covid-19 fight in Matabeleland North province.
The Matabeleland North provincial affairs minister Richard Moyo received the donation this week from Sino Hydro site manager for Hwange, Tang Zhaolai at the idle Five Miles Hospital.
“On behalf of the Matabeleland North provincial task-force I am delighted to accept $1,5 million and 15 000 masks donated by Sino Hydro,” he said.
“To achieve the fight against Covid-19, the government needs the support of the private sector. I continue to make a clarion call for more stakeholders to come on board and support the government in the fight against Covid-19.
“I want to commend Sino Hydro and other partners; Hwange Colliery Company, Hwange Pastors Fraternal, and individuals who have come together to equip this isolation centre.”
The donation comes at a time when mining companies in Hwange have been accused of flouting lockdown rules by crowding their workers at makeshift compounds which they created in the wake of the lockdown to ensure employees stayed at their workplaces without going back to their families.
While the idea was noble to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and at the same time keeping the mines running, Hwange residents said the camps are crowded and a breeding zone for coronavirus.
Sino Hydro is a Chinese owned engineering company doing contract work in Hwange, one of them being the Hwange power station Unit 7 and 8 expansion project in partnership with the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).
Sino Hydro is one of the companies that have chipped in to renovate Five Miles Hospital, built more than 10 years ago, but has been lying idle since.
The health facility was supposed to be Hwange District Hospital but was condemned by the government before it could be used after walls started falling off soon after construction, raising questions about the monitoring of contractors by the government.
Meanwhile, Moyo said Matabeleland North had also received $7.7 million from Government. This was split as $3 million for St Luke’s Hospital in Lupane, another $3 million for Victoria Falls Hospital, and $1.7 million for the provincial medical director’s office.
The National Aids Council (NAC) also availed $1 million for the province while the District Development Fund drilled boreholes at all isolation centres in the province.
However, Moyo said he was worried about incidents of violation of lockdown rules by local residents and called upon everyone to continue following national lockdown guidelines.