COVID-19: CWA Offers Solidarity Support Restoring Confidence at Public Water Points

By Staff Reporter
HARARE – The Covid-19 pandemic continue to negatively impact on people’s lives worldwide causing devastating economic and social disruption.
The pandemic continues to reveal the priceless nature of clean drinking water in reducing inequalities yet water is the main defense against COVID-19, and the lack of access exposes people to greater vulnerability, especially women and girls.
According to the United Nations, one in three people in the world lives without clean, potable water. It is projected that by 2040 global demand will increase by more than 50%.
In an effort aimed at minimizing gatherings at water points, Community Water Alliance(CWA) staff has been offering solidarity to water point committees by participating in water distribution exercise at Chimbumu and Utano Kuvanhu water points in Budiriro and Glen View respectively.
CWA founder and National Coordinator, Hardlife Mudzingwa said solidarity was offered after water point committees raised concerns on rising COVID-19 cases and the possibility of infections at water points.
Chimbumu water point, he said, had some of its water users testing positive and a swift response by City of Harare Health Department in partnership with Oxfam contained the situation in Budiriro 3.
“The third wave of COVID-19 is threatening a well established and tested volunteerism concept that had helped compliment water delivery at community level using a system of solar powered public water points.
“In response to the fear gripping water point committees on contracting COVID19 whilst providing voluntary services at water points, Community Water Alliance staff will wear water point committees shoes and undertake voluntary services at Chimbumu water point.
“The area near Chimbumu water point had COVID19 positive cases on some of the water users. Community Water Alliance will be helping the water point by provision of COVID19 consumables and demonstrating how the water points should work within the context of the third wave of Coronavirus infections. CWA staff will therefore be working at the water point as soon as the water point opens for the public to access water.
“The solidarity visit and water distribution exercise is meant to restore confidence and assure water point committees that Community Water Alliance and it’s partners ( City of Harare, Oxfam, UNICEF and GIZ) will continue to share the trenches with them in the fight against COVID19,” said Mudzingwa.
He said CWA was committed to continue urging partners to prioritize procurement of PPEs for water point committees and entrench a community based disease surveillance mechanism that ensure that communities compliment City of Harare health delivery system.
He reiterated that CWA staff will continue to offer this solidarity to water point committees whilst complying with the World Health Organization COVID-19 Prevention Protocols.
Last week, CWA has been also participating in community based disease surveillance mechanisms where the staff visited Mbare distributing Participatory Health and Hygiene (PHHE) training kits to trained community health volunteers.
They managed to interact with the Community Health Club facilitators and encouraged them to adhere to Covid-19 Prevention Protocols as they establish Community Health Clubs.
“This comes at a time when Covid-19 cases are escalating due to local transmission. Community Health Clubs will be working with City of Harare health officials particularly Environmental Health Technicians in ensuring that there are community efforts to compliment Zimbabwean Health delivery system.
“A framework on engagement between Community Health Clubs and City of Harare health officials will be established through an online capacity building initiative for community health clubs which will be delivered next week,” he said.
Mudzingwa added that established community health clubs are expected to advance the formation on a community movement on the fight against COVID-19 through health and hygiene promotion as well as implementation of Protocols.
The intervention has a wide range of activities which include rehabilitation of retail market in Mbare and establishment of Internal Savings and Lending schemes led by women, as a way to entrench a gendered COVID19 Response.
The program has been made possible through Oxfam coordination of a UNDP funded Supporting COVID19 Food Supply Chain Mechanisms project.

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