Although thousands of vulnerable children and poor families are still in need of safe and clean water as communities in Zimbabwe continue to experience the impacts of climate in addition to the aftershocks of COVID-19, World Vision Zimbabwe has made huge strides in this sector with the help of its partners.
Christian, child-focused humanitarian aid agency, World Vision, says though there has been a significant increase in the number of children and families accessing safe water in Zimbabwe, many more vulnerable children remain in need.
As government, cooperating partners and civil society organisations celebrate this year’s World Water Day with the theme “Valuing Water,” World Vision Zimbabwe wants to take time and celebrate how many communities are enjoying the “Value of Water in its Multiple Uses” as a result of the generous support of its many partners. Together, we have made water available in sufficient quantities transforming communities and contributing to their health, education as well as economic benefits.
World Vision Zimbabwe WASH Technical Advisor, Morris Chidavaenzi says: “We are grateful to our local and international partners. Together, we have accelerated access to water and hygiene enabling facilities. Together we have leveraged our resources and demonstrated sustainable impact whilst deepening and extending our reach to the most vulnerable children in Zimbabwe.”
Dorothy Manjokoto a water point committee member in the Chiramba village of Chimanimani laments on how women, herself included, used to burden their young children by asking them to help carry buckets of water for long distances from far away water points in order for the family to have enough water to carry out different household chores and activities. Now, she keeps thanking the organisation for bringing taps, solar powered water systems and water points closer to their homes. “We literally leave the drip system watering our gardens while we focus on the children at home, the cattle dip is filled in minutes because the tap is right there and I can carry my own water for my household chores without bothering my young children because it is now so near!”
It is important however to note that the region has seen a sharp increase in the frequency of floods that often destroy water points, sanitation facilities and contaminate water sources. This development has led to high incidences of water related health challenges especially among children and expectant mothers, who are the most vulnerable. It is therefore imperative for government and development partners to protect water infrastructures by adopting climate resilient approaches that ensure sustainability of water systems. These interventions are critical for the entire region, though the need in drought and cyclone prone areas such as Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe is extreme.
World Vision has worked in the country for over 45 years, implementing development and humanitarian assistance in health, education, water and sanitation and strengthening livelihoods among poor households and communities. After governments, World Vision is the second largest provider of clean water in the region.
Between 2016 and 2020, World Vision Zimbabwe provided access to clean drinking water to over 900,000 people, drilling a total of 157 boreholes fitted with a hand pump in schools, communities and health facilities. Additionally, the organisation repaired/rehabilitated a total of 1,967 non-functional water points. World Vision also supported the establishment of 151 mechanized solar powered water supply systems linked to several water collection points within the communities. Finally, to encourage the full participation and access to education of the girl child, World Vision is also focused on the establishment of girl friendly latrines in schools for Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM). Between 2017 and 2020, a total of 17,640 girl children from 168 schools have been reached through the construction of girl friendly latrines.