Rusape town takes the lead in implementing WASH programme

By ZBC Reporter
A twenty-one-member delegation comprising of representatives from eleven Eastern and Southern African countries has visited Rusape Town Council on an exchange programme on the implementation of the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in the country.
Cholera outbreaks that affected the country in the past prompted government in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to embark on WASH programmes targeting 14 small towns in Zimbabwe.
UNICEF Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Zimbabwe, Dr Aidan Cronin, who led a 21 member delegation from 11 eastern and southern African countries on an exchange visit to Manicaland last week, commended Rusape Town Council for taking the lead in the successful implementation of the WASH programme in the country.
“I think Rusape has done very well in operating and maintaining its systems. The water supply systems are now functioning well with boreholes complimenting piped water supply system. Through the resident’s associations and health clubs, the town has also managed to reach out to residents to find out issues that need attention. Rusape town council is now self-sustainable and it’s very encouraging to see the level of commitment from the town council to water supply and sanitation services,” said Dr Cronin.
Rusape Town Council Secretary Solomon Gabaza said the WASH programme raised the capacity of the town to deal with water, sanitation and hygiene issues.
“The once obsolete sewer and water infrastructure. The design water capacity of our two-water works is ten megalitres per day that is enough to supply our people. We procured new pumps on our own and water chemicals for the next three months,” said Gabaza.
Rusape residents who formed health clubs under the WASH programme said service delivery by the town council has improved following the implementation of the WASH programme.
“We are happy that our town is now clean and there is an improved water supply. It took a long time to change the public perception and attitudes on water, sanitation and hygiene issue. Health clubs helped to teach the locals on sanitation and hygiene issues,” said one resident.
The successful implementation of the WASH programme by 13 other small towns has been identified as a bold step in improving service delivery by town councils.