This is our largest and, in our opinion, most important community program. Water access is a struggle for those living in the rural areas of Zimbabwe, especially in our region of interest, Hwange West, which can be extremely dry and arid. Villagers often have to walk many kilometres to get drinking water, which then has to be carried back to the homestead, traditionally in a 10 litre bucket on the head, by women and girls.
We have drilled boreholes/wells, operated by solar energy pumps in various rural areas which had no direct access to water, and can testify to the amazing things that can happen once water is available! Not only does it directly improve health, sanitation, progress and livelihoods but at this time when we register as critical on the international Famine Early Warning System Network, it enables communities to grow food to provide for the swelling numbers of those in need.
An easy and innovative way of transporting larger amounts of water over difficult terrain is the Hippo Roller. A 90 litre container is filled with water, sealed and turned on its side. Handles are then attached to allow rolling along the ground, either in front or behind. A hippo roller will carry up to 5x the capacity of a normal bucket.
The effort to push or pull the roller is equal to carrying a bucket but the quantity is substantially higher. Using the hippo roller improves health and hygiene as well as saving time, which means education, household tasks and food production receive more attention.
We have distributed these rollers to various schools that have no direct access to water, as well as various rural families – especially women headed households. One of these families reports making 4 trips to collect water for 2 days instead of the 12 when they were using the bucket. That's a 75% saving in time and energy.
There are over 1 000 households in the Victoria Falls surrounding rural community without any toilets or access to sanitation. This is a critical health risk to the rural folk – especially children under the age of 5 years old. The answer is a simple design, quick construction called a Blair toilet.
Working with the Jafuta Outreach team, the community has been mobilised to join together and form various committees and clubs to install as many Blair toilets as possible. Jafuta Foundation started assisting this community led initiative in March 2019, and we have nearly completed the target of constructing 1000 toilets! We will continue moving into other rural communites to expand this project.
The community dwellers are making their own bricks and provide the river sand, quarry stone, pit sand and labour. In addition to this, 5 bags of cement are required to complete the construction and this is where Jafuta is assisting through donations. As seen above, an innovative lady even made her own eco bricks from plastic bottles filled with sand!
The team are doing the most amazing job in this area, despite the odds and with very little support. We are really proud to be a partner on this project, which is led and managed by the community, and has our total support.
With a donation of just US$50 you can help a household have a toilet