BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
THE International Organisation for Migration (IOM) with the support of the Swedish embassy has provided water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities to Beitbridge municipality to boost its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beitbridge has always been viewed as a coronavirus hotspot owing to its close proximity to South Africa, where over 1,5 million cases, the highest on the continent, have been recorded.
The IOM and Swedish embassy said the WASH support facility was aimed at strengthening COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) at the border town.
In a statement, IOM said it donated 5 000-litre water tanks and 150 street bins to improve solid waste management in the border town.
“Prior to the installation of the barricades and social distancing markers, the infrastructure within the Beitbridge border post did not allow for clear separation of traffic resulting in delays and congestion at clearance bays,” the IOM statement read.
Beitbridge’s environmental and health services director, Pio Muchena said the donation would go a long way in improving WASH facilities in hotspot areas frequented by the migrant population.
“The Department of Immigration was supported with the installation of barricades and social distancing markers within the immigration clearance halls.
“The support provided will address some of the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic faced, where there was increased littering along congested roads around the Beitbridge Border Post,” he said.
In addition to the donation, IOM and its partners continue to support Zimbabwe in strengthening public health measures at points of entry.
IOM’s COVID-19 emergency response has reached over 171 000 returnees with assistance through different strategic pillars which include risk communication and community engagement, disease surveillance, infection prevention and control, protection, WASH and reintegration assistance.
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