BRIEF BACKGROUND ABOUT MERCY CORPS:
Mercy Corps is an International Non-Governmental Organisation headquartered in Portland, Oregon, in the United States of America. Mercy Corps is a global team of humanitarians, working together on the front lines of today’s biggest crises to create a future of possibility, where everyone can prosper. Mercy Corps is a registered charity organisation that has been operating in Zimbabwe for more than 30 years. The organisation has been operating in Manicaland for more than 10 years with projects in livelihoods, agriculture, protection and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). Mercy Corps is the Provincial Focal Agency for WASH for Manicaland Province and as such prides itself in this role where the organisation coordinates and collaborates with all Non-Governmental Organisations and Government line ministries that have a role in the WASH sector.
To alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that “A better world is possible”.
MAJOR THEMATIC AREAS (AREAS OF FOCUS IN PROGRAMMING)
- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
- Market Systems Development
- Resilience Building (ZRBF —Research, Urban Social Assistance)
In Manicaland Province, Mercy Corps is currently implementing WASH and Urban Social Assistance programmes. Under the Urban Social Assistance project, Mercy Corps is implementing cash assistance programme targeting the urban vulnerable households in both Mutare City and Rusape Town in collaboration with the World Food Programme.
Under the WASH sector, the organisation is implementing five projects, WASH in Schools, Emergency WASH, Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP), and two grants responding to Cholera/Covid-19 emergencies. All the WASH projects are implemented in partnership with UNICEF with funding from a number of donors such as UKAID and the Swedish Government, and German Government through KfW Bank.
A focus on the Covid-19/Cholera Response Project
The Covid-19 Response project is being implemented in Rusape Town, Makoni District and Mutare City under the project title: “Strengthening preparedness and response to cholera, Covid-19 and other diarrhoeal disease outbreaks in Makoni District, Rusape Town and Mutare City”. The project is supported by funding from UNICEF and UKAID.
In Mutare, the project is being implemented across the whole city with communities mainly in Sakubva township also benefiting from the distribution of hygiene kits. In the city, Mercy Corps is working in close collaboration with Goal and Africa Ahead and Government technical ministries.
In Rusape Town, the Covid-19 response project is being implemented across all the urban wards, while covering two wards, Three and 31 in Makoni Rural District.
The project has three result areas:
- Result 1:Restore access to sufficient water of appropriate quality and quantity to fulfil basic needs for an estimated 50 000 women, men and children in three affected districts.
- Result 2:Improve awareness of Covid-19, safe hygiene and sanitation practices, with a focus on participatory health and hygiene education (PHHE) in high risk communities (bus terminus, churches, market places, other public places, etc.).
- Result 3:Children, women and men affected by cholera/Covid-19 benefit from a rapid WASH response within 72 hours.
In an effort to improve community awareness on Covid-19, the project partnered with Diamond FM to disseminate key hygiene messages to Rusape residents and Makoni communities. 10 703 households (HHs) in Rusape and 1,297 HH in Makoni Rural District were directly reached through mobile awareness activities.
The roadshows were held in Ward Three (Nzvimbe Business centre, Village 10, Village 9, Village 8, Village 7 and Nyadzonia Business Centre) and Ward 31 (Maparura and Tsikada Business Centres) of Makoni as well as Tsanzaguru, Rusape Central Business District (CBD), Magamba, Magamba Extension, Mabvazuva and Vengere.
The key messaging was “Mask Up Correctly, Sanitise, Observe Physical Distancing”. In a bid to promote handwashing with soap under running water ,400 bars of soap and 100 hand sanitisers were also distributed during the drive through roadshows.
- Mercy Corps in collaboration with the City of Mutare has repaired toilets at the following public places in the city, Meikles Park, Dangamvura Market, Chikanga Sports Field and at the City Centre Bus Terminus popularly known as Mudzviti.
- Established handwashing stations at public toilets, markets and bus termini which is expected to go a long way in supporting and promoting regular handwashing by the city residents and other public travellers.
- Distributed a total of 2 440 WASH hygiene kits in Mutare City, Makoni and Rusape Town. The kits consisted of a 20-litre bucket with tap, 25l jerry can(chigubhu), two bars of soap as well as health/hygiene reading posters and pamphlets).
- Increasing access to safe water through repairing/rehabilitating 46 boreholes across the three domains.
- Strengthening Community Based Management through training of Water Point User and Village Pump Mechanics in partnership with the District Development Fund and the respective local authorities.
- Supporting local authorities with two Water Testing DelAgua Kits to enhance water quality monitoring.
- Establishment of four piped water schemes in Makoni District to lessen the water collection burden on women and the girl child.
- Support Covid-19 Rapid Response Teams in Makoni, Mutare and Rusape through capacity building, resources mobilisation and risk communication.
- Support Village Health Workers (VHW) and Hygiene Promoters on risk communication strategies including Community Health Clubs approach.