Besides just being the newest and cleanest town in the country, Mvurwi town, located in Mashonaland Central, has now become a model town in terms of the provision of safe drinking water, clean environment and responsive residents who are willing to make their town the best in the country.
Following the interventions by the Mvurwi Town Council (MTC) working in partnership with ActionAid Zimbabwe (AAZ) and United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and funded by Australian Aid, great strides in terms of provision of water to Mvurwi residents can be noted. More than 6386 people are now having access to safe water.
The project commenced in October 2014 and a Project Steering Committee, made up of members from Mvurwi Town Council, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), the private Sector, government departments, residents and other stakeholders, is responsible for running the project.
The small towns water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project goal is to reduce the burden of diarrhoeal diseases, including the risk of cholera, and improve productivity amongst most vulnerable population groups in Mvurwi. The project has seen improved reliability of water supply through provision of sufficient pumping capacity as well as standby pumping capacity. Prior to this project outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and typhoid was common and these have since subsided.
Mvurwi Town Secretary, Dr. Sheri Nyakudya highlighted the developments in a report she presented during a visit to the Mvurwi WASH project by representatives from the Australian Embassy recently.
“Our situation has greatly improved. The standard pumping capacity (of water) increased by 75% following the upgrading of water pipes and there is also an increase in number of people with access to safe drinking water by 1,702 people compared to when the project started,” she said.
Mvurwi town has noted an increase in the number of people with improved level of service for water supply with a total of 4,684 people now experiencing improved water quality by the rehabilitation of critical elements of the water treatment plant. Before the project interventions these people had little to no water at all. This therefore stopped the outbreak/spread of diarrheal diseases in Mvurwi, she went on to say.
UNICEF repaired the water supply system by upgrading water pipes while ActionAid Zimbabwe in partnership with the Mvurwi Town Council provided awareness-raising on WASH related issues resulting in communities practicing hygiene practices, keeping the environment clean by recycling litter.
Mvurwi Primary School which is one out of the eight beneficiary schools of the project has seen the introduction of showers in the girl’s toilets as part of ActionAid and MTC efforts to address provision of gender responsive services.
Australian Aid head of Development Christina Landsberg was highly impressed by the extent to which the project had impacted the lives of communities in Mvurwi.
I am impressed with the strides made so far since the implementation of the project. The response by the community is overwhelming, you don’t need to be told about the fruits of the project but one can see them right on the ground, she said.