US$63m required to fund WASH activities


Sindiso Mhlophe

ZIMBABWE currently has a funding gap of over US$63 million to support water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) needs, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) has said.

This comes as water woes have bedevilled most of the country’s urban areas, with Bulawayo having recently experienced a diarrhoea outbreak which resulted in the death of nine people.

In its latest situation report, the humanitarian office indicated that so far funding partners had provided $1,8 million of the required US$65,4 million.

“There has been no change in funding in the past two weeks, with only three percent US$1,8 million of the funding for the WASH Cluster’s Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and eight percent $800 000 of the Covid-19 requirements have been secured, leaving significant gaps across all areas of the WASH response.

“Although 2,1 million people have been reached so far in 2020, this is predominantly through mass media hygiene campaigns…1,4 million of the people reached are in just three areas, Harare 850 000, Mutare 399 000 and Mutare Urban 147 000.

“Nearly four million people in 50 of the 85 districts targeted have not received essential messaging for Covid-19 and other key public health risks. Excluding hygiene promotion activities, only 413 000 people have been reached,” the Ocha said.

The humanitarian office added that under the WASH HRP, just 12 percent of the 2,3 million targeted with safe access to safe drinking water have been reached in just 14 of the 35 targeted districts.

“For hygiene kits under the HRP and Covid-19 response, just nine percent of the targeted 939 650 people have been reached in seven out of 68 districts targeted and only seven percent of the targeted health facilities have been reached in just 12 of the targeted 66 districts,” Ocha said.

The Ocha further indicated that 268 health care facilities in Zimbabwe require support with institutional hygiene kits including soap, cleaning materials and disinfectants as well as personal protective equipment (PPE), while 165 schools require new water sources and 785 schools need institutional hygiene kits before reopening.

“Sixty quarantine centres require essential WASH hygiene items and 22 need support with access to safe water. About 172 000 hygiene kits are required for more than 800 000 of the most vulnerable people. 54 districts have not yet received support.

“The identification of quarantine centres still remains a challenge.
“Although WASH partners have assessed 57 quarantine centres, there still remain 39 potential centres unassessed while partners wait for a definitive list of all quarantine centres.

“Waste management in quarantine centres and health care facilities is also a challenge due to a lack of waste disposal vehicles, fuel and incinerators,” Ocha added.

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