UKaid Funds Rural Water and Sanitation Hygiene in Zimbabwe
UKaid has funded a $50 million rural water and sanitaion hygiene program to benefit drought prone areas in Zimbabwe
The Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe, with support of a US $50 million grant from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), today launched a rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme, managed by UNICEF, in a major boost to the country’s efforts to reduce water borne diseases, particularly in the country’s rural areas.
Zimbabwe’s water supply and sanitation services have suffered a major collapse in both rural and urban areas due to years of under-investment. Although some progress has been made in rehabilitating water infrastructure in urban areas, rural populations continue to bear the brunt of the poor water and sanitation in the country. With around 70% of Zimbabwe’s population living in rural areas, improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene is critical.
“Ensuring access to clean water and adequate sanitation for the most vulnerable populations of our society should now be our focus if we are to meet our health related Millenium Development Goals,” said UNICEF, Country Representative Dr. Peter Salama.
Through the support of DFID, the rural WASH programme will be implemented in 30 districts in 5 provinces in Zimbabwe over five years. Close to 2.5 million people will have year-round access to safe water supplies and sanitation facilities.
“This latest programme again demonstrates the commitment of the British Government and the people of Britain to improving the daily lives of ordinary Zimbabweans,” said Dave Fish Head of DFID Zimbabwe.
The launch of the rural WASH programme follows the high level meeting on Sanitation and Water for All held in April 2012 in Washington DC, at which governments from around the world pledged to ensure safe water, sanitation and hygiene for all.
“We are very pleased as a ministry that the United Kingdom Government is again demonstrating leadership by meeting its global commitments to the WASH sector through this support to Zimbabwe,” said the Minister of Water Resources Development and Management, Hon. Samuel Sipepa Nkomo.
The rural WASH programme will support rehabilitation of existing water and sanitation infrastructure, building of new infrastructure and launch innovative community-led sanitation programmes, all in the most under-served districts in the country.
“We are committed to doing whatever we can as the Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe to improve the lives of our people,” said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. “This rural WASH programme will certainly ensure improved access to water and sanitation for our rural population. We are very grateful to the Government of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development for this support to Zimbabwe’s growth and development.”