Unicef Zimbabwe chief of communications Victor Chinyama told Engineering News Online that the survey would form the basis of a $57-million large-scale water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash) project in selected rural areas in Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands, Masvingo and Mashonaland West.
"The objective is to reduce the proportion of people without access to safe water and sanitation in the 33 districts by 25%," he
added that the maintenance and repair of water and sanitation facilities had ceased over the past ten years, resulting in a sharp deterioration of the facilities.
"Many community water point committees, who manage water points at a local level, have stagnated and pump minders are no longer employed.
A 2004 inventory of water and sanitation services estimated that 75% of the 47 000 hand pumps in the country were not functional," he
Further, subsidies for the sanitation sector had "dried up", hampering the construction of new facilities.
"With ageing superstructures, full latrine pits, [and the] unavailability and unaffordability of cement, about 48% of people in rural communities have resorted to open defecation," Chinyama