Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe has availed $41 000 towards the construction of Shavanhowe Bridge in Murehwa, 90km north east of Harare.
This adds to the financial institution’s list of high-impact community assistance over the years.
The donation by the bank is in keeping with the financial service institution’s quest to support children, education and communities through a comprehensive Corporate Social Investment (CSI) strategy.
Rural communities contribute significantly towards economic development.
The head of marketing and communications, Mr Palmer Mugavha, said the $41 000 support was aligned to the bank’s CSI activities owing to its intention to provide safe access to school for children from nearby communities.
Mr Mugavha said the bank responded to a call by Rotary Club of Harare for the construction of the bridge and did not hesitate to chip in.
“Stanbic Bank places greater emphasis on improving the welfare of children in socially challenged societies especially through educational support.
“When the Rotary Club brought to our attention that over 1 000 children are facing difficulties getting to school due to flooding of the Shavanhowe River, it was the obvious option for Stanbic Bank to render support,” said Mr Mugavha.
He said approximately 1 300 children from Chemhondoro School, which is on the Western side of Shavanhowe River in Murehwa District, were affected since they needed to cross the river during the rainy seasons.
Mr Mugavha said the financial institution was moved when it was brought to their attention that families living on the west bank risked their lives everyday during rainy seasons, as they attempt to cross the flooded river holding-on to makeshift ropes.
“The worrying statistics of at least 14 students and five adults were reported to have drowned in this river as they attempted get to Chemhondoro School, propelled us to act and not only save lives but also ensure that the children pursued their dreams through education,” said Mr Mugavha.
The coordinators of the project, Rotary Club of Harare raised over $30 000 and roped in other stakeholders such as Rotary Club of Du Pont Circle WA, US, NJR Steel RSA, ARUP Zimbabwe Pvt Ltd, Key Logistics, Gwaze Quantity Surveyor, National Arts Gallery of Zimbabwe, Zimplats Mining, Ascon Africa, Masimba Holdings, Steve Margolis Resort, Arundel Village Shopping Centre, Delta Resources Scaffolding, Mangwende Community and the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) for labour and engineering expertise; with the financial institution joining the partnership providing $41 000 which assisted in purchasing the steel required for the bridge amongst other necessities.
Flooded rivers in remote areas present a hazard to human beings who walk on foot to access different parts of the rural districts in order to attain essential services such as medical assistance and education amongst others.
One of Stanbic Bank’s on-going activities is the construction of the $100 000 Mothers’ Waiting Home in Nyamuzuwe, also in Mashonaland East, which is due for completion during the first quarter of this year.