CRS Assists 15,000 People in Buhera Cholera Outbreak


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DT Correspondent

Buhera – In response to the escalating cholera outbreak in the district, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has provided assistance to bail out 15,000 individuals by drilling over 50 boreholes and constructing toilets in Buhera District.

The surge in cholera cases in Buhera has primarily been attributed to inadequate sanitation and unsafe water sources.

To combat the outbreak, CRS Zimbabwe country representative Dr Tapfuma Murove emphasised the organization’s commitment to working alongside the government in accordance with the national blueprint.

“CRS remains committed to fundraising for the WASH sector and partnering with the government on future long-term WASH projects in Buhera and beyond, supporting National Development Strategy 1, the development blueprint.

“The project has repaired or rehabilitated 44 boreholes out of a target of 50 in 8 wards of Buhera district.

“Each water point serves an average of 300 people. The CRS assistance has restored access to safe water for an estimated 13 200 people in the districts.

“The remaining six boreholes will be completed by the end of the week, raising the number of beneficiaries to 15 000,” he said.

To support the borehole rehabilitation efforts, the project has allocated a total of US$22,500, which covers the purchase of borehole spare parts, transportation, and payments to Village Pump Mechanics.

In addition to providing safe water sources, CRS has also constructed latrines for the affected population.

Due to the urgency of the cholera outbreak, the focus has been on emergency response rather than the standard construction of community latrines, which would require a longer timeframe.

Previous water and sanitation projects in collaboration with Caritas Mutare led to the construction of over 250 latrines in Buhera South. However, the current emergency response project necessitates a more immediate approach.

“In previous water and sanitation projects, CRS in partnership with Caritas Mutare facilitated the construction of over 250 latrines in Buhera South.

“However, this is an emergency project, due to the spike in cholera cases, it is impossible to incorporate community sanitation support as standard latrines would not be completed in a short period,” he said.

The project has also conducted training sessions for 20 Environmental Health Technicians on cholera case surveillance and contact tracing, as well as 31 nurses on cholera case management.

An additional 80 community health volunteers received training on cholera risk communication and community engagement.

In alignment with the government’s commitment to leave no one behind, CRS has provided support to 338 vulnerable school-aged girls by supplying them with a three-month provision of menstrual hygiene management materials, including soap for bathing and disposable and reusable sanitary pads.

The intervention by CRS in the Buhera cholera outbreak is aimed at mitigating the impact of the disease by providing access to safe water sources, improving sanitation facilities, and promoting hygiene practices within the affected communities.

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