via Zim may fail to meet MDGs | The Herald October 17, 2013
Zimbabwe may fail to achieve some Millennium Development Goals related to safe drinking water and basic sanitation provision as major factors causing diarrhoeal diseases remain unaddressed, the Health and Child Care Ministry has disclosed. In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry said up to 4 000 children under the age of five were dying every year due to diarrhoea and the failure by the Government to mobilise adequate resources to fund water and sanitation infrastructure development.
“The factors or determinants that are causing diarrhoeal diseases remain unresolved as Zimbabwe is off track in achieving the MDG number 7 Target 10 on reducing by half between 1990 and 2015 the proportion of households without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation,” the ministry said.
This year the Health and Child Care Ministry in collaboration with UNICEF and other stakeholders would launch the National Sanitation Week and Global Hand Washing Day commemorations on October 18 at Mutawatawa in Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe districts in the Mashonaland East province.
The commemorations would be held under the theme: “Zero Open Defecation + Hand Washing with Soap = Diarrhoea-Free Communities”.
The event aims to elevate the profile of sanitation and improvement of hygiene practice in various communities in the country.
MDG number 7 aims at ensuring environmental sustainability, including water and sanitation.
MDG 7 target C intends to halve the proportion of people without access to safe potable drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015.
The ministry noted with concern that people in Zimbabwe still wash their hands with water alone believing that washing with water alone to remove visible dirt is sufficient.
“Washing hands with soap in terms of removing germs is seldom practised in our context. Globally hand-washing with soap at critical moments range from zero to 34 percent,” the ministry said.
It said along with adequate sanitation, provision of safe water and hand-washing with soap is important in combating waterborne diseases.
“Deaths and illness due to sanitation and water related diseases are preventable hence it is important to sensitise and commit policy makers, stakeholders, community leaders and communities to ensure the provision of adequate sanitary facilities and safe water supplies,” the ministry said.