Bindura Municipality has been commended for being on schedule with the Small Town’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme which was rolled out two years ago in Bindura and other 13 small towns.
The emergency rehabilitation project for Bindura by UNICEF was in response to the 2008/2009 cholera outbreak that claimed 4,200 people. Bindura had 4 deaths out of 374 cases recorded.
This surfaced during a tour of the town on Friday with significant improvements in the sewerage system being some pointers of the marked improvements.
Speaking during the tour, Australian Ambassador Suzanne McCourt applauded Bindura Municipality for effectively implementing the programme.
“We are happy to be associated with such a programme which involves the community, from the children to the council and the residence,” she said adding that Bindura Municipality had done a great job.
Bindura Town clerk Mr Shangwa Mavesere said the funding, which was provided to Bindura through UNICEF has help them to curb disease out breaks.
“The 2008 Cholera outbreak was attributed to unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices but now we have reduced the possibility of such an outbreak through the funds availed to us by UNICEF,” he said.
The sewer refurbishment equipment which the Bindura Municipality acquired has evidently helped in improving the sewer disposal system.
“Prior to the allocation of the funds, 80% of raw sewer was polluting water sources within the municipal boundary and over 2,000 houses were occupied but not connected to water and sewer making the city more vulnerable to diseases,” said Mr Mavesere
The overall goal of the small town’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme is to contribute to reducing the burden and diarrheal diseases, including cholera and improving productivity amongst the 500,000 inhabitants including women, children and the vulnerable in 14 small towns
The project aims to improve operational capacity and efficiency of sewerage systems and sewerage treatment plants in small towns through rehabilitation of sewerage systems.
US$58 million was distributed to all the 14 small towns and the project runs until 2017.