Under the WASH Programme, UNICEF has intensified measures to mitigate and avert the rapid spread of cholera and other water borne diseases. This has been done by making safe water available to communities and also through promotion of good hygiene practices.
UNICEF has assisted with the provision of safe water through water trucking to different communities since 2007 to supplement water supplies particularly in Harare. This service was extended to cover other suburbs which urgently required water during the cholera outbreak. More than 500 000 litres of water were made available to communities throughout Zimbabwe daily through water trucking. UNICEF also guaranteed the availability of clean and safe water to residents by making water treatment tablets available to the people.
Further to assisting during emergency situation, UNICEF has began supporting water supply and sanitation system rehabilitation in urban cities, small towns and growth points and also to further capacity develop the urban and rural councils in the operation and maintenance of the water works.
As a long term measure UNICEF continues to ensure safe water to communities through supporting borehole drilling across the country. In addition, UNICEF has provided assistance through drilling of 200 boreholes in urban communities most affected by cholera in 16 districts. Further, UNICEF has worked with more than 14 NGO partners for distribution of non-food items and borehole rehabilitation in 20 high risk districts. Of importance, UNICEF supports safe water and sanitation facilities in all rural schools. 5 300 hygiene kits were distributed across all Zimbabwe's primary schools.
In addition, close monitoring of cholera outbreak in districts is ongoing as a measure of targeting WASH interventions in various districts. More than half of the population has no access to improved sanitation facilities while more than a quarter of the Zimbabwean population has no access to sanitation facilities. Thus, large proportion of population lack safe sanitation and significant proportion still use unsafe water sources.