Cholera Mitigation through Community Health Clubs: Zimbabwe 2012-2013

  • Donor: USAID  (direct funding)
  • Districts: Mutare, Chimanimani and Chipinge
  • Number of Project Wards : 23
  • Number of beneficiaries: 811,451
  • Number of CHC Members: 15,911
  • Cost of Project: US$ 506,316
  • Cost per Beneficiary:  US$2.34
  • Start and end Date:  October 2012- September 2013



To improve hygiene and sanitation practices and to sustainably reduce the risk of transmission of preventable communicable diseases and build resilience within communities by way of education and application.


  • Establishment of Provincial Offices in Mutare
  • Approval from the Provincial Administrator
  • MOUs with the respective RDCs and Mutare City Council
  • Held Community sensitization meetings and reached out to 5,486 people
  • Selection of 240 Community Based Facilitators
  • Trained 234 Community Based Facilitators
  • Trained 9 EHTs
  • Trained 6 DWSSC members
  • Established 335 Community Health Clubs
  • Registered 15,911   CHC members: 14,631 females and 1,281 males
  • Provided CBFs with bicycles
  • PHHE sessions  completed

An All Inclusive Programme

The project is now covering 15 rural wards of Chimanimani, Chipinge and in 8 urban wards of      Chikanga and Dangamvura suburbs in  Mutare. In 3 months of working with the all stakeholders, i.e. RDCs, Government departments in particular Environmental Health Technicians and the communities, the project is now yielding good  results.

In April 2013, a total of 235 Community Based Facilitators were trained to roll out the programme in their respective villages and suburbs. 4 project Officers were deployed in the Districts to give backstopping support and monitor progress.  Progress is evident in the project wards especially in the rural areas. 334 Community Health Clubs have been established in 317 in rural areas. By June, club membership was 15,202 with the majority (93%) being female members 14,006.

A Woman’s Pride

Community Health Clubs have a special appeal for women as they feel proud to be a member  and to be able to make a contribution to  health issues in the society.  They completely run the show in these clubs, which provide a  platform for women to voice their concerns on health and other social issues in their communities. Being a club member allows them to gain a status in the community  and their self esteem is raised especially when elected to a position in the club committee. The pride is clearly visible when the club is meeting by way of dressing and the upkeep of the membership card which is an important identity of a club member.

 Participatory Health and Hygiene Sessions (PHHE)

By May 2013, PHHE sessions were in full progress in  all wards with the earliest CHCs having completed the  5th session of water sources out of the 20 sessions.

Hygiene outcomes:  As usual Canaan has stimulated outstanding response from the community and  within 4 months the following has been constructed:

  • 496 Household hand wash facilities (See above photo)
  • 927 refuse pits
  • 927 Pot racks
  • 794 temporary toilets have been constructed in the 5 wards of Chimanimani

Exceptional sanitation response

It is noted that the demand for sanitation is exceptional, particularly in Chimanimani.  By August, 2013, only 5 months after the project started, EHTs were helping CHC members to peg out latrine in the villages. In ward 22 alone, 62 latrines have been pegged in the past month and 21 pits have been dug and await lining. Club members are contributing money towards the purchase of cement and working in groups to dig the toilet pits and mould bricks. Some have even arranged for river sand to be brought by ox cart from 80 kms away to use for the construction of cement slabs. Club members in ward 27 in Chipinge are purchasing cement for the construction of enabling facilities at the club venues and for constructing latrines at their homes thus introducing the idea of a permanent venue which is  a milestone towards sustainability. This is one such indicator that shows the acceptance of the program. The EHTs in Chimanimani have started ward based training of CBFs on how to site and peg the toilets as a means of rationalizing the workload due to high demand from the communities.