In Zimbabwe, 32.7% of people in rural areas lack access to an improved water source, which contrasts starkly with the 97% coverage in urban areas. This issue is compounded by the economic problems faced by Zimbabwe in recent years, which have contributed to 75% of rural water points becoming dysfunctional. In a country where the vast majority of rural people rely on burning solid fuels for their cooking needs and have no option but to boil water in order to make it safe, this constitutes a major source of CO2 emissions.
CO2balance have partnered with local NGO Diocese of Mutare Community Care Programme (DOMCCP) to rehabilitate broken down boreholes in Chipinge and Mutare Rural districts and to empower sustainable community-level structures to manage and maintain the boreholes – these include Water Point Committees and Village Pump Minders. DOMCCP work closely with the relevant government agencies to ensure that the community-level structures receive training and technical support and to conduct water quality testing to ensure that the water is safe.
The boreholes in CO2balance’s Zimbabwe projects ensure that thousands of people have access to sufficient safe water, reducing the occurrence of water borne diseases and removing the need to boil the water as a treatment method, which exposes households to household air pollution. This saves thousands of tonnes of firewood per year and reduces CO2 emissions. The provision of safe water sources in communities removes the need to collect firewood for boiling and reduces the time spent collecting water, a burden which disproportionately falls on women and children.