Zimbabwe – Climate change and sustainable development

Date: August 17, 2018
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The economic meltdown has affected the capacity of many local authorities to service stands particularly with sewer reticulation as these are capital projects, this was also made worse by climate change as council is failing to meet the demand for water by the residents. This has made council to look beyond other sanitation technologies and embraced the ecological sanitation which does not use water for flushing and the waste is harvested as manure consideration of the reuse criteria.

Organic manure is used for agriculture and is pathogen free since lime or ash used kills bacteria and cysts and makes the conditions unfavourable for bacterial growth and survival which is a consideration to public health. The contents are dry as urine is diverted to another sump where it is harvested and used as fertilizer (Urea and ammonia in urine).

This project aims to reduce housing backlog and roll out stands using the ecological sanitation pending convectional plants and to capacitate the community on the zero waste concept as the waste will be used as manure and urine as fertilizer. It also opts to prevent diseases through proper disposal of excreta.

The project has reached 2000 direct beneficiaries and 3000 indirect beneficiaries. The council sponsored the project in facilitating a look and learn visit to Masvingo, training of builders and mobilising materials for construction of a structure for demonstration as well as allowances and food rations for builders.

The Zimbabwe Government allocated $1000 to this project. In kind contributions amounted to $400. The total budget for the project is $1400.

In terms of the Monitoring and Evaluation, number of men and women participating in these campaigns is tracked. This includes the number of women taking influential positions and key positions.

Of the challenges, other people could not embrace the technology at first until they saw the models completed then they appreciated it. Some other people viewed it as a rural model but awareness helped them to understand that it is a technology done as a coping mechanism to climate change as it does not require water. Some viewed it as an expensive model until they received education that materials such as wood and metal sheets can be used as superstructure.

Women have been empowered as they are now proud owners of housing units as they managed to build houses and use the ecological sanitation technology. Water is a scarce resource these days and using the ecosan reduces the burden on women of fetching water for flushing in the toilet since it does not use water.

Mrs Gatera, resident of Kaguvi phase 4 housing project says, “I am happy that I am now a proud owner of a house since council introduced a sanitation technology that would allow us to construct our houses and service later, I no longer have the burden of paying rentals.” Men have been supportive during construction of these structures and since they were trained in building these, they understood how the technology works and were involved in giving education on how it is used.

Management and councillors adopted the sanitation technology because of it being sustainable as the waste is used as manure and no water is used for flushing like is the case with water closets. The good practice can be amplified by putting ramps so that the disabled can use the facility at ease.

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