Building resilience in Gutu District after Cyclone Idai

Gutu District in Masvingo province, Zimbabwe was  one of the 9 districts which were heavily hit by the Tropical Cyclone Idai in March 2019, resulting in most water and sanitation infrastructure being damaged. An estimated population of 270 000 in total, including 129 600 were affected by flooding and other damages caused by Cyclone. The vulnerable community which includes women of childbearing age, children under five years were left exposed to  to risks of diseases outbreak such diarrhoea, typhoid and cholera.

Africa AHEAD and UNICEF are supporting WASH activities in the five most affected wards in Gutu (wards 10,12,13,15 and 36) which includes restoration of boreholes, piped water schemes, rehabilitation of toilets in four schools, one health centre including the demand led and supported latrine construction. Through improving access to safe water and sanitation we are  building of resilience the communities to such disaster.

We are working closely with Ministry of Health   and District Water and Sanitation sub committe to repair/rehabilitate 36 water points (30 boreholes, 6 deep wells and 1 piped water scheme). To improve sanitation we are assisting 100 vulnerable households in the  area with building material for latrine construction whilst also encouraging community to build  a further  60  latrines at their own cost, as we have done so successfully in other programmes.

‘Self Supply’ for sanitation will be achieved through  the formation  of 10 CHCs  with a Community Based Facilitator trained for each CHn each of the  5 wards. They will conduct our standard  training in Participatory Health and Hygiene  Education (PHHE) sessions combined with our new Covid 19 awareness training,  raising awareness on dangers of open defecation thereby create the demand for construction of household latrine even without giving a subsidy.

The programme will train 10 latrine builders and the community is expected to use these builders to facilitate standard construction of latrines.  A reasonable  fee will be agreed between the community and the builders for latrine construction.  Demonstration latrines will be constructed at the 100 households of the vulnerable beneficiaries.  Water and sanitation facilities will be rehabilitated/constructed in four schools and 1 clinic. 4 School based Facilitators  will be trained on PHHE and Covid in the 4 schools while the health facility staff will be sensitized on Covid spread and prevention.

In addition 37 Water Point Committee and 10 Village Pump Mechanics will be trained to ensure proper managements of water facilities and reduction of long down time of water points.

Africa AHEAD will ensure engagement of all stakeholders in the implementation of the programme, from the District leaders to village level committees and general community in project area. This has been the way we have always ensured  programme ownership and success.