The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Manicaland Province, Honorable Mandiitawepi Chimene officially handed over the 1.5 million USAID funded Community Water Supply, Sanitation, Hygiene, and Natural Resources Management project (C-WASH) project which has improved the health of 53,000 Zimbabweans from Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mutasa, and Nyanga.
In a speech read on her behalf at the project closeout event held Sherukuru Secondary School in Mutasa Minister Chimene commended DAPP Zimbabwe’s timely implementation of CWASH saying "the project which is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, (CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION) identifies with the needs of the most needy in the rural areas of the province through efforts targeting strengthening the community’s capacity in areas of Water management, sanitation and hygiene management and Natural resources management”. She praised the Training for Transformation initiative saying it not only develops a sense of ownership and responsibility among community members but ensures sustainability of the project beyond the funding period.
C-WASH is a USAID-funded activity to improve the health and nutrition status of Zimbabweans by addressing water, sanitation, and hygiene challenges. Through C-WASH, USAID and DAPP Zimbabwe assisted communities to rehabilitate 237 community boreholes, establish 90 water pumps, construct 350 cattle drinking troughs, and conduct water quality testing on 327 boreholes and wells. The project supported the construction of 20 latrines at 20 schools using a new design that meets the needs of girls and boys and people with disabilities. C-WASH also supported 1 120 families to build latrines at their homesteads. In total, 53 000 Zimbabweans now have access to clean water and sanitation facilities. C-WASH was implemented from 2015 to 2017 in four districts: Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mutasa, and Nyanga.
These achievements were highlighted by beneficiaries who shared their most significant change stories at the event. Notable was the impact of the project on pregnant mothers who now have ready access to clean and safe water, enabling hygienic environment and improved sanitation facilities. “Visiting the swat-hole toilets was an unbearable experience for expecting mothers while walking long distances to fetch clean water was equally painful. We are grateful to DAPP Zimbabwe for bringing better toilets with raised seats that make it easy to use during pregnancy” said Melania Ziyambe of Mugari Village in Chipinge. She added that the C-WASH project also eliminated chances of their new born children catching diseases as they now have access to clean and safe water.
Students from Sherukuru Secondary school expressed their gratitude to DAPP Zimbabwe and USAID saying their new toilet facilities were designed to cater for disabled students as well as their menstrual hygiene needs. “We are happy with our new toilets that allow us comfort while we are going through our menstruation period. We really appreciate that some of our disabled classmates will be able to also use the toilets without assistance” said the school Head girl.
Addressing the same gathering DAPP Zimbabwe Chairman Ib Hansen, said “Clean water and sanitation are essential for human health and nutrition, food security, and economic growth. We are proud to work in partnership with these communities to improve sanitation and hygiene infrastructure in a way that will be sustainable over the long term.” He added that water remains a finite resource that needs conservation and called on the 53,000 beneficiaries to continue protecting and conserving water through upholding the principles and best practices they were taught by DAPP Zimbabwe and Zim-AHEAD.
USAID Zimbabwe shared their joy with the communities for the successful implementation of the project and reiterated their commitment to the people of Zimbabwe. USAID Zimbabwe Acting Mission Director Julie Nenon said: “USAID stands with the people of Zimbabwe to enable families to live healthier and more resilient lives. The successes we celebrate today have been made possible by the unity and hard work of the men, women, youth, and leaders in these communities.”
Running under the theme "C-WASH for sustainable water and sanitation facilities for communities", the event brought together over 1,000 community members from the four districts (Chipinge, Chimanimani, Mutasa and Nyanga), government officials, Schools, USAID staff, other implementing partners and above all the beneficiaries to celebrate the achievements of C-WASH project.
DAPP Zimbabwe and USAID remain committed to make achievable the UN SDG 6 goal whose vision is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.