Zimbabwe, Masvingo Town

PROJECT AIM:  to provide public health promotion, cholera mitigation and emergency preparedness in Masvingo Urban through Community Health Clubs.

Wards 1 – 10 of Masvingo Urban were selected  which were high density suburbs and informal settlements. To assist with implementation, nine  Community and ten School Based Facilitators were selected and graduated after an intensive five day course of Participatory Health and Hygiene Education (PHHE) facilitation in July 2010 at Mucheke Hall.

As the project duration was only 6 months, a revised curriculum was created.  11 condensed PHHE sessions were held per club with a clean-up campaign being the first task at hand.   The local communities took it upon themselves to clear all storm drains before the rains, and with the help of refuse trucks provided by the local council, this waste was then removed for dumping.  This ownership and pride in their community continues today.

A notable example of the new civic pride was when one CHC member noting the registration plate of a vehicle who threw litter out of their moving car and reported it to the council.  The council successfully charged the driver, and a fine had to be paid!

  • Country: Zimbabwe
  • Period: 6 months in 2010
  • Donor: UN OCHA
  • Partner: OXFAM
  • Province: Masvingo
  • District: Masvingo Urban
  • 10 Wards: Numbers 1-10
  • Number of households: 1,112
  • Number of CHCs: 9
  • Number of CHC Members: 1,165
  • Number of School Health Clubs: 10
  • Number of School members: 930
  • Number of EHTs: 4
  • Number of CHC facilitators: 9
  • Number of beneficiaries: 6,990
  • Cost of Project: US$27,500
  • Cost per beneficiary: US$3.93


Illegal dumping of waste in the high density suburbs of Masvingo Town, have been reduced to a minimum with residents self-monitoring the solid waste situation organised through their community health clubs. In addition, although this is an urban area, there is little piped water therefore rural technologies are still appropriate. We counted that 570 Tippy taps were constructed across the town, with 220 pot racks and 260 refuse pits in the Garikai area alone.


‘Canaan our facilitator, (see photo above) is, how can I say … he is like God, because when he came there was only death, and now there is life!

‘We people in Garikai now know how to survive! Those people in town they now respect us and our place is not looked down on as a dump anymore.’   

(Garikai  CHC member)


2010 Annual Report p. 7.12.



A Model Urban Public Health Project

Two Directors from Ministry of Health, from the Department of Environmental Health, and the Department of Infrastructure Development, toured the Masvino area and were spell bound by what they saw. Even the National Coordination Unit’s Coordinator was surprised by what the communities did with stimulation from ZimAHEAD in  Masvingo urban. Communities had taken control over their own health, showing accountability, ownership and responsibility  and their self development was spurred by the motivation in the health club sessions.

In particular the Garikai community attracted attention. Once they were the black spot of Masvingo town looked down upon by other residents of Masvingo. Their place is now a symbol of health after they joined the clubs and cleaned their area, they are now proud of their homes and walk with heads held high, a big difference from the past.