30 September, 2011
Regis Matimati, Director of Programmes, Zimbabwe AHEAD
Every year Zimbabwe commemorates Sanitation and Hygiene week with the rest of the world. A venue is chosen for the prestigious launch by the national dignitaries as national commitment in pursuit of improving sanitation and hygiene goals. This years’ launch has been the 14th launch and the venue was Masvingo, providing a focus on one of Zimbabwe AHEAD recent projects.
ZimAHEAD ran an Emergency Respond Funded project for 5 months in Masvingo city in 2010. The project which ran from July to November 2010 instituted 9 CHCs and 10 school health clubs that participated in a record mass clean up in collaboration with the city. A total of over 1200 residents and 1000 school children where mobilised and left the city sparkling clean. This was noticed locally in Masvingo province and nationally such that when time for picking a venue for the Sanitation week launch, no other place could compete with Masvingo. An decision was made at the Sanitation and Hygiene Taskforce of the National Action Committee for the whole nation to gather in Masvingo and learn from the best practice of the CHCs and SHCs that took responsibility and action to clean their environment and also from the city council that became more accountable to the residents through providing backup refuse management systems in collaboration with the health clubs.
The commemoration started at 9am at the town house with the Governor and Resident Minister of Masvingo Mr. Tsungirirai Hungwe, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Of Transport, Communications and Infrastructure Development Mr. Mupingo, Director from Ministry Of DID Mr. HB Sibanda, Director Of Environmental Health Mr. Goldberg Mangwadu, National Coordinator of the NCU Mr. HR Mashingaidze, Mr. PA for Manicaland, various government officials, the Mayor of Masvingo and his officials, representatives from Unicef and heads of various NGOs from across the country school children from the city schools, soldiers from the 4.2 Infantry battalion and residents gathered at Town House for a clean-up exercise.
Drum majorettes and various entertainment accompanied the clean up team on a 2km march from town house to the Mucheke Stadium where hundreds of residents where entertained to poems from school children and university students and speeches from the Director of Environmental Health, Unicef representative, The governor of Masvingo and the guest of honor the Vice President of Zimbabwe; Mrs. Joyce Mujuru.
The Vice President Mrs. Mujuru spoke highly of Masvingo residents’ achievements in keeping cholera out of the city through the CHCs. This had been mentioned before in the Dir. EHD’s speech that he had come to Masvingo and was greatly impressed by what the CHC approach to health, hygiene and sanitation had done in the city. The governor was left beaming with pride as the custodian of a clean provincial capital.
This was followed by presentation of prizes to the best 2 CHCs in the city. Various NGOs and the Government of Zimbabwe contributed to the occasion with T-shirts and cleaning materials. ZimAHEAD donated 204 x 20liter jerry cans and 74 pairs of heavy duty cleaning gloves. Various organizations had an opportunity to showcase their activities. Canaan Makusha of ZimAHEAD manned the ZimAHEAD desk and briefed the various inquiries on CHCs.ACF showcase the UBVIP in a nearby community garden.