The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) is mobilizing, empowering and networking the local churches to become active agents of holistic community transformation through improving sustainable and equitable access to and use of safe water, sanitation and hygiene services. In partnership with Living Water International, EFZ is implementing WASH program in Epworth and Mashonaland East province since 2013. The WASH program dubbed, ‘Water for life in Jesus name’ is currently being implemented in Mutoko and Murehwa districts and Epworth peri-urban area. The project have 3 main components namely water access, hygiene promotion and Christian witnessing is being implemented using Salt and Light Church engagement model. Since 2013-2017 EFZ has improved access to safe water by drilling 54 boreholes and rehabilitating 196 boreholes in Epworth, Mutoko and Murehwa. In the 2016/2017 financial year, EFZ drilled 27 boreholes and rehabilitated 98 boreholes in the aforementioned WPAs.
Key highlights for 2016/ 2017
- In Murehwa EFZ managed to improve access to safe water coverage by 27 % through rehabilitation of 47 boreholes and drilling 14 boreholes; 61 boreholes gives access to safe water to 18 300 people.
- In Mutoko EFZ rehabilitated 41 boreholes and drilled 11 boreholes giving access to safe water to 15 600 people. Overall EFZ increased access to safe water in Mutoko by 20 %.
- In Epworth EFZ rehabilitated 10 boreholes and drilled 2 boreholes giving access to safe water to a total of 6000 people and increasing access to safe water coverage by 8.9 %
Water Access in pictures
Bwanya Rehab Site
Hygiene and sanitation promotion- The EFZ has also created demand for sanitation and hygiene services at community level and this has seen a marked transformation in communities as evidenced by:
- Improved hygiene and sanitation Knowledge, Attitudes, Behaviors and Practices (KABP) by communities
- Reduced burden of water collection especially on women and girls
- Reduced productive time lost scavenging for water
One toilet completed with support from Zvakanaka health club in Mutsahuni village
One of the 20 sinks completed by Zvakanaka health club in Mutsahuni Village
Christian Witnessing- Most importantly, the gospel of Jesus Christ is made known to communities through gospel proclamation at well sites and there is exponential proportional growth in churches both numerically and in relation to their capacity to respond to the socio-economic, spiritual needs of communities.
Fig 1 shows Goto community praying at well site during hygiene promotion, Murehwa District.
Fig .2 Shows Bishop Moses Chinyama sharing the word of God at borehole commissioning in Epworth.
Fig 3 Pastor Bernard Chiripanyanga and Pastor Pedzisai Katsande praying with community members in Village 65 after sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ at well site, Mutoko District.
Key story of the year
Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe WASH Interventions in Epworth Improves Hand Hygiene in Schools
Good hand hygiene is an important infection control measure as person-to-person contact, including via hands, is common mode of transmission for gastro-intestinal and respiratory infections. In a school set up, hands can be contaminated with human excreta, body fluids, chairs, desks, floors, dust and doorknobs. The aforementioned can be vehicles of bacteria, parasite and viruses. Infectious agents can enter the body when unwashed hands touch the mouth, nose and eyes. This underscores the fact that hand washing cannot only prevent diarrhea but also other infectious diseases such as acute respiratory infections. Before the WASH intervention at Chinamano Primary School, the rate of hand washing at critical times was very low (12%). The low rate of observed hand hygiene comes along with high rate (88 cases per 1000 population) of diarrhea among Chinamano school children. Expressing gratitude two months after WASH interventions at the school, Chinamano primary school health master said:
I would like to thank the local churches, government departments and EFZ for remembering our schools. Getting safe water was a mammoth task for both school children and their teachers. Children used to carry containers of water from their homes for use at school; the water was always inadequate and more often than not unsafe for human consumption. As a school we thank God, we got a new well and it is functioning well-we now have access to safe water 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Our children were taught the importance of hand hygiene and they are always reminded by their peers through Edutainment during school health club sessions. The hygiene promotion session conducted by EFZ encouraged school children to replace their unhygienic practices with safe alternatives. I am very proud to say, diarrhoea incidence have dropped by 61%; I used to receive 15 to 30 cases of diarrhoea per week before the intervention but now a week can pass without receiving any case of diarrhoea at the school.
Allow me to ask for a favour from the churches, government and EFZ; please extend your kind gesture to other schools within the district and beyond because a School without Safe Water is an Unsafe Environment for school children.
School children at Chinamano primary school are now practicing good hand hygiene, which could be attributed to improved knowledge regarding importance of hand wash at critical times and availability of safe water within the school yard. Thanks to the churches and other stakeholders and Glory be to God.
Story by Rameck Makokove
WASH coordinator, EFZ