ZCDC lights up Chiadzwa School

Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has completed the scheduled installation of a solar system to power a Combined Science laboratory at a local Chiadzwa secondary school.
ZCDC installed the solar units at Gandauta Secondary, having constructed the ICT and Science laboratory unit furnished with 30 computers, under its Corporate Social Responsibility model of promoting quality education.
Head of Public Relations and Community Development, Sugar Chagonda said the firm is pursuing targets from the 2019 Sustainability Report to gain social license from the community.

Mr Chagonda said ZCDC among other projects, will implement a community benefit sharing model to enhance access to RE, quality education, water and sanitation for the impoverished Marange community.
“Corporate Social Responsibility forms part of our main strategic pillars as an organization. ZCDC holds in high regard, the balance between, community, nation and corporate stakeholder interests in the execution of its business,” he said.
Chagonda also said their Renewable Energy (RE) footprint is growing to support sustainable models for inclusive growth with the community.
“It’s cheap energy that is locally available. We view this as a sustainable model to empower local communities given the challenges with power outages on the national grid.
“This will complement the ICT equipment that we have installed at the school and this is our solution to power but it’s only part of other solar projects coming.
“By doing this we are ensuring that we take on local development on board because we need the social license to operate from the community,” said Chagonda.

Traditional leaders and the community has already been at loggerheads with diamond mining companies including Chinese owned Anjin Investments, for operating in violation of local customs, rights and failing to cascade benefits to the community.
Natural resource governance monitoring groups have also raised red flags over violations- including the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) which coordinates local civic society monitoring of the mining sector under the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) as part of a worldwide campaign for an open and accountable extractive industry.
Zimbabwe Allied Diamond Workers Union (ZIDAWU) , a member of the PWYP Zimbabwe, which monitors diamond mining activities in Marange, said ZCDC could be doing more to promote sustainable mining and community benefit sharing.
In a statement ZIDAWU applauded the installation of solar panels at Gandauta science laboratory as a starting point, calling for sustained support for local schools leveraging on renewable energy to address inequalities.
ZIDAWU said due to the energy challenges rural students also fail to access internet resources compromising their online learning under the Ministry of Education new programme Continuous Assessment and Learning(CALA) which requires a lot of research.
ZIDAWU said solar energy is not only reliable, cheaper and environmentally friendly but part of climate change action which supports implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) targets to reduce carbon emissions.
“This is one of the projects applauded by the community and teachers included. In the same vein ZCDC is expected and requested to do more in this regard as it is believed that it leads to technological advancement at Chiadzwa schools.
“Hence, as ZIDAWU we applaud the mining company for such a great initiative as we advocate for climate change action.
“We hope to see the nation growing towards the same direction and we hope more installations will come as the company does it’s corporate social responsibility projects in the area,” read part of the statement. – 263 Chat