Lawrence Chitumba Mash Central Bureau
The Government initiated rural water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project is bearing fruit in Mashonaland Central following the successful completion of the construction of ablution facilities in Muzarabani and Mt Darwin districts.
The aim of the project is that by 2030, the country achieves access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and the vulnerable.
The programme was rolled out in five provinces in 2012, following the devastating effects of the cholera and Mashonaland Central was considered in the second phase.
Speaking during a meeting on Open Defecation Free Society at Gumbeze Village in Mt Darwin last week, Mt Darwin District Administrator, Mr Maxwell Mabhuro, said: “An open defecation free society is a healthy community. Before the start of this programme, the village had only 12 improved sanitary facilities out of the 76 households.
“I cannot imagine the tonnes and tonnes of human waste that were being indiscriminately disposed in the surrounding environments subsequently contaminating the most precious water resources.
“I cannot imagine the amount of time lost Government spend on drugs as well as the precious lives lost due to this irresponsible behaviour resulting from preventable diseases.”
Mr Mabhuro added: “Of late, the country has battled to deal with cholera and typhoid, but thanks to the response from the people of this village we will win the battle soon. I have been informed that now all the 76 households in this village now have improved latrines.”
The programme was made possible by the partnership between Government and DIFD from the United Kingdom, which provides funding for the financing of the repair of all broken down boreholes, the creation of demand for improved sanitary hardware, the strengthening of WASH governance and the improvement of Private Public Partnership in WASH activities.