The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme contributes towards improving water source by 20% and improve access to sanitation by 10%. The programme provides a thrust on emergencies and aims to provide relief from water borne diseases emergency. The cholera outbreak 2008/2009 was mainly a result of many households not being able to access safe water for consumption.
Many households accessed water from shallow wells after failing to secure water from the household taps. Nearly 100 000 people were affected by the disease while more than 4 000 people died. Provision of safe water to households in Zimbabwe is still a challenge. Most people (98%) in urban areas used improved water sources compared to rural areas with 61 percent.
Urban areas had a higher proportion of the population (50 %), drinking water which had been appropriately treated, although sourced from improved drinking water sources, compared to rural areas (9.25 %). The sanitation situation in the majority of urban centers remains in a bad state due to overflow of sewage and blockage of sewerage systems. Due to the large funding requirements for rehabilitation of both water supply and sewerage facilities, rehabilitation work has been delayed in the urban and rural areas.