HARARE North residents who are mostly members of the Borrowdale Ratepayers and Residents Association and the Borrowdale Crime Liaison Committee (BCLC) have suggested to have their own ambulance service and a food bank dedicated to help the needy and persons with disabilities.
Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
The proposals were pitched on the Ward 18 Councillor’s forum, an online platform, for residents of Borrowdale, Borrowdale Brooke, Greystone Park, Helensvale, Carrick Creagh, Glen Lorne, Umwinsidale, Philadelphia, Quinnington and surrounding areas.
The idea came against the background of the several road accidents happening in the area and people failing to get help on time.
According to residents, sometimes even some of the big companies in the health sector have failed to provide help to the needy and less fortunate in the Harare North community.
The residents said the food bank system is being practiced in other countries and it will help bridge the gap between the fortunate and the less fortunate hence bringing them together as one community.
Recently a pedestrian was hit by a car along Liberation Legacy Way (formerly Borrowdale Road) and one of the Borrowdale Crime Liaison Committee (BCLC) members came across the accident and called for assistance in the form of an ambulance.
However, a private ambulance service said they could not assist the victim unless they paid for the service. The BCLC member found the attitude of the private ambulance service unacceptable given it was life which was supposed to be valued above all else.
“I called a well-known ambulance service who asked me if the person could pay for the ambulance service. I gave them the number of the BCLC member on scene. They called him and asked the same question. The victim couldn’t afford to pay and the (BCLC) member had no money on him. They then said all their ambulances were busy. I had to seek an ambulance elsewhere. It took 50 minutes to get him help. This is totally unacceptable,” said the BCLC member.
Residents then suggested the idea of having their own ambulance service.
“Perhaps we need to think about having our own ambulance for our ward which can assist with cases like this. We would need several fundraisers in this case though,” suggested a top BRRA official.
Residents also proposed to start a food bank for the elderly and disabled run by volunteers for Harare North.
One resident pledged to volunteer his services and share knowledge on how it is being done by communities in countries such as Canada.
“The food bank idea for the elderly and persons living with disabilities is a noble idea which should be embraced by all residents. The whole concept is that by helping one another we become a closer community and what tends to happen is that we protect one another and look out for each other creating a better community and improving the overall living conditions,” said a resident.
Added the resident: “Doing the food bank programme in Harare North only will not be enough but I think if we start and it’s a success, others will follow. Families and individuals who have food to spare and companies in our community are encouraged by volunteers to spare a little for the needy in our community and once a month at different sites in the ward we distribute whatever we have to the registered elderly and disabled in our community. This is a simplified summary of the proposal. I have been volunteering for the past three years and watching how they do it overseas and I am sure there are a number of us, in this group, who have similar experiences. The idea therefore is to form a subgroup to ameliorate the plight of our senior citizens and the disabled.”