By Thandeka Matebesi
A MATABELELAND-BASED non-governmental organisation, Rural Communities Empowerment Trust (RuCET), says young people in Menyezwa’s Ward 14 area in Lupane are facing challenges in accessing public services.
RuCET, in partnership with Lupane Youth for Development Trust, held a meeting with young people from (the) areas, including Masenyane, to discuss issues affecting them.
RuCET senior programmes and information officer, Nkosini Khupe, said the biggest challenges that the youth were facing in the area were food shortages and lack of income-generating projects.
“The major challenge that the youth in the area are facing is non-access to food. A lot of young people are complaining of hunger. They are struggling to survive because of the drought coupled with lack of access to water for agricultural projects. There are very few sources of water in their area,” he said.
“Access to water for day to day activities is also a challenge as there are no boreholes in the vicinity. People have to walk very long distances to access water.
“The youth are requesting authorities to give priority to these issues and drill boreholes because once there are boreholes the youth can then undertake irrigation schemes to improve their livelihoods without having to solely depend on hand-outs from NGOs,” Khupe added.
He called on the government to build a vocational training centre and a secondary school so that children and young people do not have to walk long distances to education.
“There is also the challenge of access to education, especially secondary education. The only school that young people depend on in Masenyane is very far.
“It is about 12 to 13 km from the village. It becomes very difficult for them to actually focus on their studies and excel,” Khupe said.
“The youth are therefore appealing to the government to build more secondary schools that are close by so that students do not have to walk for long distances to access education because walking long distances affects their concentration levels and overall performance.
“One youth specifically emphasised the need for a vocational training centre so that the youth in the area can be trained and imparted with practical skills that would benefit them. There are some practical skills that can help them survive in the economy,” he added.