Over 5m people benefit from water projects

AT LEAST 4,5 million people across the country have so far benefited from improved water and sanitation services through Water and Sanitation Project Phase one and two, the Zimbabwe Multi Donor Trust Fund (ZimFund) has revealed.

In a statement that was released last week on World Toilet Day, ZimFund, a US$145 million programme which was established in 2010 after the 2008 cholera outbreak, also revealed that at least five million more people benefitted from rehabilitated power transmissions.

 “Today the world observes World Toilet Day while governments worldwide are still grappling with the effects of the Covid-19 health crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly put on the spotlight the health benefits of appropriate toilet hygiene across Africa.

“Sustainable sanitation is a must for everyone, alongside clean water and hand washing facilities, to help protect and maintain our health security and stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases such as Covid-19, cholera and typhoid, among others,” the statement read.

ZimFund, however, concedes that much still has to be done.

“Despite efforts made by government, development partners and the private sector on improving basic services delivery to targeted vulnerable populations in Zimbabwe through the rehabilitation of water and sanitation infrastructure in selected communities, there are still challenges in these sectors.

“There is still sewage flowing in the streets in some urban centres, unreliable power supply, shortage of clean water leading to open defecation and environmental pollution. This is evidence that more investment in these sectors is still required

 “Lack of safe toilets is a threat to everyone’s health. Investment in sanitation brings returns not only in health but also productivity, education, jobs and more. For women and girls, safe toilets guarantee privacy and dignity especially during pregnancy and menstruation. Safe toilets also make them less vulnerable to rape and other forms of gender-based violence,” it read.

Since ZimFund’s establishment in 2010, it has come up with water and sanitation as well as energy infrastructure projects developed to help address challenges of water supply and sanitation, and energy sectors through rehabilitation of key  infrastructure especially in municipalities that were most affected.

 “To date, 4,5 million people have benefitted from improved water and sanitation services through ZimFund Water and Sanitation Project Phase I and II while at least five million benefitted from rehabilitated transmission and distribution networks under ZimFund Power project phase I and II.

“Some of the projects recently completed include supply and replacement of 8,2 km of small, old, silted sewer pipes in Chegutu where residents experienced sewage spillages for more than a decade in suburbs such as Kaguvi High Density Suburb,” it revealed.