Zimbabwe: Mitigating Climate Change in Chegutu RDC

Date: August 30, 2019
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Chegutu Rural District Council with its partner installed two piped water scheme in ward 7 and 8 in its jurisdiction area in the year 2016 and 2017 respectively. The objective was to improve the access to sufficient safe and clean water by the communities. This was to be achieved the construction of the piped water scheme using the solar system. This was a response to the occurrence of droughts leading to households changing their main water sources to alternative sources which were unprotected and unsafe water sources. High breakdowns of boreholes

The climate change that led to the recurrence of drought in the district caused many water sources to dry up resulting in women and girl child to walk long distances of more than five kilometres and they were spending more hours fetching water. The people also resorted to unclean and unsafe water, drinking water from unprotected wells. The water problem also causes gender-based violence at homes and at the water points.

The ultimate goal for the council is for everyone in the district to have readily available clean and safe water as it is the constitutional right for everyone to have clean and safe water. As a gender-sensitive council reducing the distance and time spent by the girl child and women fetching water is also its goal.

Piped water scheme is the current way to go as it provides clean and safe water as well as it covers more people and can be accessed by the old aged and people living with a disability.

Key Actions 

The council started by sensitization of the District Water and Sanitation Sub Committee (DWSSC). Who then went to the community and sensitize the local leadership such as the village heads, councillors and the chief who would assist in organizing for the community participation. The local leaders availed the information of the beneficiaries of the scheme and community mobilization. The activities also included community resource mobilization such as digging of trenches by the community and provision of the locally available resources such as the pit sand, river sand etc. Monitoring of the project by the council, its partner and stakeholder was part of the activities.


The local authority which happens to be Chegutu Rural District Council, its community and its partners which are Helpage and Welthunger made this to happen. The Helpage in partnership with Welthunger (both NGOs) provided the funds required and the expertise. District Development Fund (DDF) and Public works also provided people with the required expertise. Council also provides with the funds and other resources such as vehicle and equipment, expertise etc.


Political pressure was used to mobilize the community so that they will participate in the project

Sensitization of the local leaders who assisted in the mobilization of community to participate in the project especially in the locally available resources

There was coalition building whereby the Council and its partner HelpAge in sourcing funds for the project and lobbying of resources.


The main challenges for the two piped water schemes

1) Low borehole water yield for most of the sited areas to drilling the boreholes for the project which was not sufficient for the piped water scheme. More siting was done until the area with the required yield was found

2) Resistant to participate by the community at first as the community was expecting to be paid something for the work done. Council with the assist of its stakeholders e.g extension officers such as Environmental Health Technicians worked very hard to persuade the community to participate without any remuneration and remove the donor syndrome from the community. Council with assistance from its stakeholders ensured the community that the project belongs to them, they are the owners of the project. However, this worked as the community at the end took the ownership of the project as well as the responsibilities that came with the project

Immediate results and next steps        

1) Improved number of people now accessing sufficient safe and clean water

2) Reduction of distance travelled to fetched by women and girl.

3) The girl child is now spending more time in school than hours they used to spend fetching water.

4) Women now have adequate time to do other money-generating activities rather than spending more of their time fetching water.

  • To sustain these two piped water scheme
  1. a) The water point management which is made up of seven people ( 4 women and 3 men) were formed for each scheme to oversee the running of the piped water scheme.
  2. b) 14 Village pump minders were trained (seven for each piped water scheme) were trained to repair and maintain the piped water system
  3. c) Chingwere Secondary and Chingwere Primary benefited from the piped water scheme and the water is very vital for the girl child especially during her menstruation period.
  4. c) Maintenance manual was given to the management team and the pump minders

On what needs to be done to sustain the project is:-

  1. i) The bank account to be opened for each scheme. Each household to pay a small amount monthly and the money will go towards the repairs and maintenance of the project. The water point management will be responsible for the management of that account whilst the council will be monitoring and supervising the management of that account.

Long term Impact  

  1. i) The women empowerment
  2. ii) Community participation

Learning and how this will be applied

1) The community participation makes the job easier.

2) The involvement of the local leaders who work with the people at the grass-root is very important.

3) The involvement of the expertise reduces the wastage of resources as the resources will be used efficiently

4) Stakeholder engagement

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