Tag Archives: Zimbabwe

Will better sanitaton and nutrition reduce stunting?

Zimbabwe SHINE trial - Cornell University

Photo: Cornell University

A trial is underway in Zimbabwe to measure the independent and combined effects of improved sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and improved infant diet on stunting and anemia among children 0-18 months old [Cornell University CENTIR Group blog].

The Sanitation, Hygiene and Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial is led by the Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research in Harare, Zimbabwe in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Care/Government of Zimbabwe. Other contracted experts include Sandy Cairncross, Val Curtis and Peter Morgan.

The SHINE Trial is being undertaken in Chirumanzu and Shurugw, two districts with high HIV prevalence. Besides investigating the effects of sanitation and nutrition, SHINE will also test whether Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (EED)is a major cause of a major cause of child undernutrition. EED, also called environmental enteropathy, is a condition believed to be due to frequent intestinal infections.

SHINE is being being funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). There are additional contributions from Wellcome Trust, National Institutes of Health, and the Swiss Development Cooperation.

A special open access supplement of Clinical Infectious Diseases is devoted to SHINE containing the following articles:

  • The Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial Team, doi:10.1093/cid/civ844
  • Design of an Intervention to Minimize Ingestion of Fecal Microbes by Young Children in Rural Zimbabwe, doi:10.1093/cid/civ845
  • The SHINE Trial Infant Feeding Intervention: Pilot Study of Effects on Maternal Learning and Infant Diet Quality in Rural Zimbabwe, doi:10.1093/cid/civ846
  • Using Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis Methods to Assess Household Water Access and Sanitation Coverage in the SHINE Trial, doi:10.1093/cid/civ847
  • Assessment of Environmental Enteric Dysfunction in the SHINE Trial: Methods and Challenges, doi:10.1093/cid/civ848
  • The Potential Role of Mycotoxins as a Contributor to Stunting in the SHINE Trial, doi:10.1093/cid/civ849
  • Assessing the Intestinal Microbiota in the SHINE Trial, doi:10.1093/cid/civ850
  • Assessing Maternal Capabilities in the SHINE Trial: Highlighting a Hidden Link in the Causal Pathway to Child Health, doi:10.1093/cid/civ851
  • Theory-Driven Process Evaluation of the SHINE Trial Using a Program Impact Pathway Approach, doi:10.1093/cid/civ716

IIED presents SHARE-funded City-Wide Sanitation Project findings

May 6, 2014 – IIED presents SHARE-funded City-Wide Sanitation Project findings at the 11th International Conference on Urban Health at the University of Manchester | Source: SHARE website

SHARE partner IIED presented its findings on the challenges and opportunities of different models for improving sanitation in deprived communities at the 11th International Conference on Urban Health at the University of Manchester. iied

The work presented was published last year in a paper entitled “Overcoming obstacles to community-driven sanitary improvement in deprived urban neighbourhoods: lessons from practice”. Sanitary improvement has historically been central to urban health improvement efforts. Low cost sanitation systems almost inevitably require some level of community management, and in deprived urban settlements there are good reasons for favouring community-led sanitary improvement.

It has been argued that community-led sanitary improvement also faces serious challenges, including those of getting local residents to act collectively, getting the appropriate public agencies to co-produce the improvements, finding improvements that are acceptable and affordable at scale, and preventing institutional problems outside of the water and sanitation sector (such as tenure or landlord-tenant problems) from undermining improvement efforts. This paper examines these sanitary challenges in selected cities where organizations of the urban poor are actively trying to step up their work on sanitary issues, and considers they can best be addressed. 

AMCOW training consultancy on sanitation & hygiene policy development

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) needs the services of a training service provider to carry out a sanitation and hygiene policy training.  Focal persons in Burundi, Chad, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe need to be brought up to speed on drawing up plans and strategies .

The aim of this small (20 days) but interesting assignment is to:

train the focal countries on the process of developing a policy document and costed implementation plans and strategies for ending open defecation in those countries, and how to operationalise them.

The assignment supports a US$ 2 million Gates Foundation funded policy and advocacy project being implemented by AMCOW .

Closing date for receipt of applications is March 7, 2014.

Read the full Terms of Reference.

Please do not submit applications or requests for information to Sanitation Updates.

Zimbabwean sanitation and human rights advocate Nomathemba Neseni dies

Nomathemba Neseni in June 2011 at a SuSanA side event. Photo: Flickr/SuSanA

“Sanitation is a passion, not a job,” said Noma Neseni last year at the Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene in Mumbai, India. “I became a human rights commissioner because of toilets. What is gender equality or poverty alleviation when we are forced to defecate in the open?”

Ms. Nomathemba (Noma) Neseni, the Director of the Institute of Water and Sanitation Development (IWSD) and Human Rights Commissioner in Zimbabwe passed away on 30 August after a short illness.

She took over the leadership of IWSD in mid-2007, after working for a number of years as Deputy Director. Ms. Neseni had extensive experience in the water and sanitation (WASH) sector, ranging from project planning to gender mainstreaming. She wrote a book [1] on WASH financing, which was published in May this year.

At IWSD, Deputy Director Mr. Lovemore Mujuru has taken up the post of Acting Executive Director.

Ms. Neseni served for many years as the National Coordinator for Zimbabwe for the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), and more recently she was elected as a member of the WSSCC Steering Committee.

IWSD has been an IRC partner for many years, most recently in the ZimWASH project [2]. In 2009 Noma Neseni wrote an article [3] in IRC’s Source Bulletin about how the decline in Zimbabwe’s sanitation services eventually led to the 2008 cholera outbreak, the deadliest in Africa for 15 years.

[1] Neseni, N, 2012. Financing of WASH in a declining economic environment: financing of WASH for sustainability. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.  http://washurl.net/dou0ka>

[2] IRC – ZimWASH

[3] Noma Neseni, Sanitation perspectives in the new Zimbabwe. E-Source, May 2009

Source: WSSCC, 30 Aug 2012 ; The Herald / allAfrica.com, 01 Sep 2012 ; IWSD

Factors leading to poor water sanitation hygiene among primary school going children in Chitungwiza

Journal of Public Health in Africa, March 2012

Factors leading to poor water sanitation hygiene among primary school going children in Chitungwiza

Blessing Dube, James January

Although the world has progressed in the area of water and sanitation, more than 2.3 billion people still live without access to sanitation facilities and some are unable to practice basic hygiene. Access to water and basic sanitation has deteriorated in Chitungwiza and children are at risk of developing illness and missing school due to the deterioration.

We sought to investigate the predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors that are causally related to water- and sanitation- related hygiene practices among school going children. A random sample of 400 primary school children (196 males, 204 females) in four schools in Chitungwiza town, Zimbabwe was interviewed. Behavioural factors were assessed through cross examination of the PROCEED PRECEDE Model. The respondents had been stratified through the random sampling where strata were classes. A structured observation checklist was also administered to assess hygiene enabling facilities for each school.

Children’s knowledge and perceptions were inconsistent with hygienic behaviour. The family institution seemed to play a more important role in life skills training and positive reinforcement compared to the school (50% vs 27.3%). There was no association between a child’s sex, age and parents’ occupation with any of the factors assessed (P=0.646). Schools did not provide a hygiene enabling environment as there were no learning materials, policy and resources on hygiene and health. The challenges lay in the provision of hygiene enabling facilities, particularly, the lack of access to sanitation for the maturing girl child and a school curriculum that provides positive reinforcement and practical life skills training approach.

Brisbane WASH Conference 2011 presentations on hygiene and sanitation

Dr Val Curtis

“The most cost-effectiveness intervention for improving public health [is] improving hygiene promotion [and] without change in hygiene behaviour, we get none of the benefits of water, none of the benefits of sanitation”. This was one of the messages that Dr Val Curtis conveyed in her introduction to the session on “Behavioral change and social sustainability” at the WASH Conference 2011 (download audio of her presentation).

Some 224 conference delegates from over 100 organisations in 40 countries came to Brisbane, Australia for the WASH Conference 2011. Below is a selection of the presentations on sanitation – powerpoints + audio files – given on 16-17 May. (If you have never heard him speak before, don’t miss the presentation by CLTS-guru Kamal Kar). The presentation streams dealt with institutional, environmental, social and financial sustainability respectively.

Most of the presentations were about Asia, the focus area of conference co-organiser/sponsor AusAid. There were also a few presentations from Africa, a region where AusAid is looking to expand its WASH activities (see AusAid focus regions/countries).

WASH Conference 2011 presentations on sanitation


Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), Origin, Spread and Scaling up
Presented by Kamal Kar
Slideshare presentation | Download audio

Planning Behaviour Change: Chances and Challenges
Presented by Dr. Christine Sijbesma, IRC
Slideshare presentationDownload audio

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Half Of Zimbabwe’s Rural People Use Bush As Toilet – UN

Harare, October 04, 2010 – The United Nations says 50 percent of the Zimbabwe’s rural population have no toilets and use the bush.

Speaking at the launch of the National Action Committee (NAC) on Water, a programme aimed at revitalising water, sanitation and hygiene in the country, United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) representative Dr Peter Salama said a lot still needs to be done to avoid the recurrence of the cholera epidemic of 2008.

“More than 60 percent of hand pumps in rural areas require repairs and more than 50 percent of rural population practises open defecation as their only form of sanitation,” said Salama.

He, however, acknowledged the progress that had been made in this sector so far which ensured that 73 percent of Zimbabweans now had access to improved water while 60 percent could now access improved sanitary facilities.

Zimbabwe witnessed the worst cholera outbreak in the country’s history in 2008, which recorded more than 100 000 cases and 4 000 deaths. At the time most suburbs around the country went without water and in most cases depended on water supplies from UNICEF and other donor agencies.

But since the inauguration of the inclusive government the cases of cholera have dramatically dropped down to about 1000 while only 25 deaths were reported so far this year.

“In Zimbabwe poor water and sanitation is increasingly a problem concentrated in and borne by the poorest, while the richest one fifth of the population have virtually universal coverage of safe water and sanitation services.”

The UNICEF official added that children in Zimbabwe died from simple diarrhoeal diseases although the deaths – like those caused by cholera – did not make international headlines.

Turning onto the country’s response to the UN set targets of achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG)s, one of which refers to the universal access to clean water and sanitation, Salama said, “One of the off track goals for Zimbabwe is sanitation .”

Speaking at the same occasion the Minister of Water Resources and Development Samuel Sipepa Nkomo said his ministry was facing problems in getting many water projects on stream due to financial problems.

“The programme to resuscitate water infrastructure will need US$400 million a year but we only have $ 100 million. The challenges are really on the financing side,” said Nkomo.

Several water projects have been on the cards before and after independence in 1980. Among some of the most outstanding are the Matebeleland Zambezi Water Project, Gwayi-Shangani Dam, Mundi-Mataga and Kunzvi Dam.

The NAC was first established in the early 1990s for the rural water and sanitation programme but has not been functional during the last decades due to lack of resources.

UNICEF says a combination of aging equipment, lack of regular power to operate water pumps and a shortage of skilled technicians to manage repairs has meant that that taps in urban areas often go dry while about 2, 1 million rural dwellers go without water due to broken water pumps.