Derera piped water Scheme, improving lives through access to clean water

As the sun rises over Derera village in ward 13, the sounds of the cocks heralding in the new day are interjected by laughter and giggling by scattered groups of women as they make their way to the water points. Walking past the fields, they wave at their neighbours’ sons who are busy laying pipes so that they irrigate their sugar bean crop. The water point is within 20m of their homesteads. 

A small line has formed when they arrive but they know it will be a few minutes only before they have filled their buckets and are returning home to complete their morning tasks and cook for their families. 6 piped water points have been installed in this village with 161 households currently benefiting from portable tested water.  

Following the devastation of Cyclone Idai; Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP) intervened to restore access to potable water through a gravity-fed piped water scheme. “The construction of the scheme was laborious as we had to assist to carry building materials up the mountain to the site of the water tanks and the source. We remained resilient, and worked together as a community under the leader of the ZIRP engineers. Having the end goal in mind is what kept us going,” the chairperson of the Water Point Committee Ms Sara Jimu remarks. 

Active community participation in project planning and implementation has improved project design through the use of local knowledge; produced more equitable distribution of benefits and promoted local resource mobilization for construction of sanitation infrastructure in the target communities. This community led approach fosters project adoption by the community ensuring sustainability beyond ZIRP.

“It is much like having a baby. Once it is born, it lies with you to take care of the baby. If the baby gets sick, you must take it to the clinic,” Ms Jimu laughs. Following the capacity building on leadership and management of water points, the committee has created a maintenance fund where each household contributes US$1 every month.

ZIRP intervention in WASH has seen 74 water points being installed, providing increased access to clean water to 5,665 households. 189 water point committees (WPC) in Chikomba, Chimanimani, Gutu, Chipinge and Bikita have been trained to operate and maintain the rehabilitated waterpoints.