The word 'Ngozi' in Shona means 'Curse' and the families living at Ngozi Mine outside Bulawayo are indeed cursed.
'Desperate, miserable, hopeless, horrific, harrowing'... there are not enough descriptive words to encompass this morass of destitute humans in their living conditions.
Ngozi Mine is the name for the landfill slum that has grown around the Bulawayo City Council Rubbish Dump, the final destination to the countless tonnes of waste the city produces every day.
Some of the dwellers are believed to be the remnants of 'Operation Murambatsvina' the infamous government purging operation that began in 2005. On the other hand, some of the inhabitants find they can make a good living foraging amongst the City's filth.
There are over 250 families living in shanties made from plastic - the spoils from the rubbish dump, and wood from the surrounding trees. Some are lucky enough to have found a few prized sheets of cardboard or possibly a tin sheet.
There is no potable water within 10 kilometres and residents draw water for bathing and drinking from the disgusting, polluted water in the nearby quarries.
Thank you God, there are people in Bulawayo who have come to the aid of this tragic community. Mustard Seed Communities, Nozizwe Mother of Nations Trust and Bethlehem Covenant amongst others.
There is a church on site which provides spiritual and educational needs for the community. Seven days a week around 300 children are provided with a good healthy lunch. Water tanks have been commissioned for the residents, and I am looking forward to joining 'The Book Club' at the school!!
Children are resilient little creatures thank goodness, we watched in anticipation as tiny tots sat on old car parts and slid down the edges of the quarry....
I have some photos that will break your heart....if you would like to see them, please go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/393903553997308
The community is looking for food, clothing, shoes and children's books. If you would care to donate please contact the incredible Iris Mhlanga
'There But For The Grace of God Go I'