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World Water Day: World Vision calls for protection of infrastructure

World Vision Zimbabwe (WVZ) has called for the protection of water infrastructure at a time when Southern Africa has seen a sharp increase in the frequency of floods that often destroy and contaminate water sources.

In a statement on the occasion of the World Water Day commemorations Monday, the humanitarian organisation said protection of water sources was key.

“It is important however to note that the region has seen a sharp increase in the frequency of floods that often destroy water points, sanitation facilities and contaminate water sources,” said WVZ.

“This development has led to high incidences of water-related health challenges especially among children and expectant mothers, who are the most vulnerable. It is therefore imperative for government and development partners to protect water infrastructure by adopting climate-resilient approaches that ensure the sustainability of water systems. These interventions are critical for the entire region, though the need in drought and cyclone-prone areas such as Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe is extreme.”

WVZ said accelerating access to safe water should be a priority among the most vulnerable children and communities in the country.

“Although thousands of vulnerable children and poor families are still in need of safe and clean water as communities in Zimbabwe continue to experience the impacts of climate in addition to the aftershocks of Covid-19, World Vision Zimbabwe has made huge strides in this sector with the help of its partners,” said the organisation.

“As government, cooperating partners and civil society organisations celebrate this year’s World Water Day with the theme “Valuing Water,” World Vision Zimbabwe wants to take time and celebrate how many communities are enjoying the “Value of Water in Its Multiple Uses” as a result of the generous support of its many partners. Together, we have made water available in sufficient quantities transforming communities and contributing to their health, education as well as economic benefits.”

WVZ has worked in the country for over 45 years, implementing development and humanitarian assistance in health, education, water and sanitation and strengthening livelihoods among poor households and communities.

The humanitarian organisation is the second largest provider of clean water in the region, after governments.

Between 2016 and 2020, WVZ provided access to clean drinking water to over 900,000 people, drilling a total of 157 boreholes fitted with a hand pump in schools, communities and health facilities.

Additionally, the organisation repaired/rehabilitated a total of 1,967 non-functional water points. World Vision also supported the establishment of 151 mechanized solar-powered water supply systems linked to several water collection points within the communities.

WVZ is also focused on the establishment of girl friendly latrines in schools for Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and between 2017 and 2020, a total of 17,640 girl children from 168 schools have been reached through the construction of girl friendly latrines.

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