BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI
Malisa Zhombe Clinic in Kwekwe rural district’s ward 13 recently got a shot in the arm after the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) rehabilitated the health centre’s water and sanitation infrastructure.
The project, which is part of a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programme that the ZRCS is undertaking in seven districts across the country, seeks to improve primary health care systems in compliance with basic WASH services guidelines set by the World Health Organisation.
ZRCS is working in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) in the US$650 000 project, which is being implemented in Hopley, Harare, Marondera Urban, Binga, Muzarabani, Mangwe, Siakobvu and Kwekwe rural.
At Malisa Zhombe Clinic, a health centre that caters for 10 000 people, ZRCS donated a 5 000-water tank, water pump, constructed a 30-hole squat toilet, an incinerator and bottle crusher.
“We welcome this good gesture coming from the Red Cross and Unicef at a time this health institution has been battling water, sanitation and hygiene challenges,” said Munyaradzi Shonhai, environmental health technician for Malisa Zhombe.
“This health centre has been having intermittent water shortages compromising health care services here. We are happy that we now have a bigger tank, a new pump, improved water pipes and ablution facilities at the clinic and staff cottages.
“The Red Cross also helped build a new squat-hole toilet and an incinerator replacing the one we had which had become obsolete.”
Shonhai said the clinic was also serving nearby communities with water.
The environmental health technician bemoaned the community’s failure to build toilets, saying it was drawing back the gains of WASH programmes in the area.
“Our toilet coverage stands at 65%, which is not good. The problem is that people used to build toilets with the support of non-governmental organisations and now, the toilets have been filled up and they expect the NGOs to come and build other toilets for them,” Shonhai said.
ZRCS secretary-general Elias Hwenga said the WASH project at Malisa Zhombe Clinic was part of the organisation’s COVID-19 response programme.
“The project is part of a broader WASH programme that we launched in November last year to promote sanitation and hygiene in the wake of COVID-19 in selected districts across the country, including Kwekwe rural,” Hwenga said.
He said part of the programme included rehabilitation of WASH infrastructure and COVID-19 awareness campaigns with bias towards basic hygiene.