The Impact of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programmes in Chivi District, Zimbabwe
Machiwana, Vimbayi R
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The effectiveness of development activities in water and other sectors can be improved through a broad-based analysis of livelihoods and the factors that influence them, including the wider ‘vulnerability context’ in which people live. It is also important to ascertain the role that water resources play in combination with other ‘assets’ to support economic and human activities. A research study was carried out between December 2009 and April 2010. Its aim was to assess the impact made by the water supply and sanitation programmes implemented by Zvishavane Water Project and World Vision Zimbabwe in Chivi District of Zimbabwe since 2005. Wards 7, 9 and 15 were studied. Ward 9 and 15 had water supply and sanitation programmes, while Ward 7 had no water supply and sanitation programme since the IRWSSP. This allowed comparison of livelihoods between the wards which had programmes and that which did not. The impact was assessed in terms of design, functionality, usage and livelihoods. The design, functionality and usage were assessed using design criteria obtained from literature, while the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (SLF) was used to assess impact made on the livelihoods of the rural poor. The methods used to collect data were household survey, in which 90 households were interviewed per ward in the three wards. Focus group discussions with men, women, youths and water point committees in each ward were done as well as field visits and observations. Key informant interviews were done with staff from Agricultural Extension (AGRITEX), District Development Staff (DDF), Ministry of Health and the Rural District Council (RDC). Six school headmasters were interviewed to ascertain the impact made by the programmes and diarrheal and cholera disease prevalent records were obtained from three health centres. The results obtained show that Wards 9 and 15 had a better choice of water technologies (Elephant Pump and Windlass respectively and B-type bush pump for both), which were low cost and therefore better designs than Ward 7, which only had the B-type bush pump. Functionality and usage was high in the three wards. Impact has been made by water supply and sanitation programmes implemented by ZWP and WVZ in Ward 9 and 15 compared to Ward 7 which has not had a programme. The physical, natural and human capitals were more supported by water supply and sanitation programmes, than the social and financial capitals. It was concluded that the design of water and sanitation facilities influences functionality and use of the facilities. This subsequently affects the impact made by the facilities. The financial and social capitals are not rooted firmly in water supply and sanitation programmes, unlike the physical, natural and human capitals. The study therefore recommends that NGOs should implement, with support from Government, more of low cost technologies, which communities can look after using locally available materials as this will ensure sustainability and therefore sustained impact. Extensive geological surveys should be done before water point development to ensure that wells have a greater depth and therefore yield more. This will enable use of water for productive purposes which encourage continued functionality of water points, thereby ensuring sustainable impact.