37 years no toilets, clean water

Source: 37 years no toilets, clean water – DailyNews Live

Vasco Chaya in Kariba      31 July 2017

SIAKOBVU – Fairly abundant vegetation in Siakobvu area in Kariba – about
500km north-west of Harare deep in Mashonaland West province – does not
only serve as wind break or source of cheap fuel in this part of the
country but also as “ablution facilities” to villagers.

This has seen the area which falls in Natural Region 5, characterised by
high temperatures and low rainfall patterns, being heavily polluted with
human waste posing a health hazard to the villagers.

Taurai Nyambo, environmental health technician told the Daily News there
was need for behaviour change in the area.

“It was just that villagers were so comfortable in using bush toilets.
Here, some chose to construct six-roomed modern houses but ignoring
latrines. There is need for behaviour change,” Nyambo said.

Owing to lack of toilets in Siakobvu, villagers have been prone to
diarrheal diseases such as dysentery, cholera and typhoid among others.

As a way of reducing health disasters in the area, leading humanitarian
organisation Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) has embarked on
construction of toilets in most affected clusters that is Kasiya and

A cluster is made up of at least three villages.

“We have approximately 2 198 households in Kasiya cluster but only 238
toilets were erected thanks to ZRCS.

“We feel Red Cross’ efforts are not enough considering we are looking for
about 1 000 toilets to be constructed under the initiative,” Nyambo said.

“However, we need to applaud the ZRCS for spearheading development in the
area. Since the commencement of toilets-building in the area, we are happy
that diarrheal diseases have reduced by 30 percent.”

One of the beneficiaries of the project was ecstatic about the health
transformation that was taking place in their area.

“Since I was born 35 years ago, I started using the toilet this year
(2017) hence Red Cross should be applauded for bringing sanity to our
area,” Chenjerai Masaba said.

Apart from building toilets in the area, ZRCS also transformed the area
through improving access to clean water mainly in Mavuramachena cluster.

“Though we used to have 22 boreholes in 25 villages, they were not enough
hence some of us ended up relying on unprotected water bodies.

“It was a ticking time bomb but Red Cross has facilitated the construction
of 34 protected wells in the ward,” said Mamvuramachena focal person
Goodwell Jakarasi.

The ZRCS was equally happy with the progress made in this part of the
country so far.

“Our programmes are not an imposition by the Red Cross to communities but
are community owned.

“The challenges, including lack of water and sanitation, toilets, clean
safe water sources, were identified by the community as a priority through
a Vulnerability Capacity Assessment as we sought to build better resilient

“The projects allow the communities to champion their own resilience, by
determining the solutions to the priority risks that face them and we
continue to be responsive to the felt and expressed needs by the
communities,” ZRCS secretary-general Maxwell Phiri said.

“The support is also extended to the district level, through training that
enhances preparedness and response of the District Civil Protection