Zimbabwe Precedent Setting Water & Sanitation Project: MpataBack To Projects
Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity (SHARE) activity in 2013 is focused on the Mpata, Alaska, Shackleton, and Gadzema settlements. Precedents in these settlements were informed by data collected from profiles and enumerations. The first year of the project saw the Alliance, with support from the Municipality of Chinhoyi undertake a process of identifying stakeholders – bringing together organisations dealing with water and sanitation issues in the city as well as community-led profiling and mapping of infrastructure. Specific project activity for each settlement is as follows:
Households in Mpata have started to contribute in groups and mobilise in order to construct individual toilets on a shared basis. Flush toilets are to be constructed with an individual connection - one for each housing unit (consisting of semi-detached units with each unit accommodating more than two households). Residents of each plot will decide as a group on which unit to start construction. The municipality has agreed to assist the families with draft toilet plans.
Gadzema saw residents express willingness to contribute toilet cleaning equipment as well as a commitment to contribute funds to cover maintenance of communal facilities. Residents have also agreed to rehabilitate toilets. Toilets have four (4) cubicles for men and four (4) for women and suggestions around personalizing the cubicles for the number of households were made. Residents will form a roster for cleaning of the common spaces and those households using a particular cubicle will do the same. Shackleton project activity has focused on provision of shared ecosan, with one block of houses sharing a toilet. Each block houses four (4) families and is located on a plot of 400m2. Sharing facilities means costs are decreased. The Federation has undertaken to educate the community on construction, maintenance, and use of this technology.
The last year of the project will involve implementation of a decentralized water and sanitation system (DEWATS). The Alliance interacted with the Chinhoyi University of Technology’s (CUT) Department of Environmental Science and Engineering on this. The DEWATS project responded to profile outcomes, i.e. the existing sanitation grid being centralized and needing a consistent power supply. The project team believes the technology will transform sanitation in settlements. Power cuts are regular in the country and DEWATS does not need power to operate. Potential settlements that have been identified for rolling out DEWATS include the Federation's Brundish Site, Shackleton, and Alaska. SHARE activity is operating within the context of recent attempts to reform the water and sanitation sector in Zimbabwe. Progress exists in the form of the Government increasingly acknowledging the high percentages of people practicing open defecation.
Location: Mpata, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe
Three (3) different precedent setting sanitation infrastructure units are being constructed in three (3) settlements. They include: shared eco-san toilets in Shackleton; connections to existing bulk infrastructure in Mpata, and; the construction of a communal block in Gadzema. Water borne flush toilets are being constructed in Mpata since the area was already networked with municipal sewer lines. A total of nineteen (19) toilets were constructed for the benefit of more than seventy (70) households. Through community efforts, the project managed to negotiate some plan approval and building inspection stage fee concessions which significantly reduced construction costs.Community capacity:
Community members, particularly female Federation members from the Brundish settement, received hygiene training from the Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT). The training covered general good hygiene practises and also proper solid waste management. The training was also instrumental in strengthening community networks and tests the group cohesion during implementation of solid waste management activities.
On the Dialogue side, fund management has dominated during the reported period. A loan management software system called Loan Performer, has been purchased to help monitor the loan recording and to make the management of repayment and disbursed loans easier. Three Federation members have been trained to capture new disbursements and repayments using the software. This will ensure that the Federation also understands the financial matters and are able to analyse their data.Scale:
The Federation has been challenged lately by the urgent need to scale up its interventions. This realisation has influenced community mobilisation and loan fund management activities. To ensure that the necessary framework for scaling are present, the project is using a revolving fund managed by Federation and is attempting to establish a city level sanitation fund which will be jointly managed by Local Authority, the Federation/community and Dialogue on Shelter Trust. It is envisaged that once there is a functional sanitation fund, more people will be able to borrow and also attract more funding from other sources.
The few precedents that have been constructed by the project have injected the much needed seed capital. In Mpata, the project has constructed ten (10) toilets but currently there are an additional nine (9) toilets, which are being constructed from other sources. Six (6) toilets have been built with own funds bringing the total to twenty-five (25) toilets.Impact:
The project is proving to be an instrumental tool for impacting policy. So far, the Federation has managed to hold discussions both at local and national level. Using the project as a toll for impacting policy has also contributed positively on efforts to scale the project. City managers and policy makers or councillors have been the primary target to sensitise them on other ways of providing sanitation. The local authority is planning to have a discussion on how the piloted systems can be elevated into city policies. Even with such interesting developments, the project still lacks other important elements required to grow to scale. The local authority contribution needs to be upped so that the project will be identified more with the city than being external as the case currently.
In addition to the policy issues, there have been a number of lessons generated around better implementation methods that serve to ensure a bigger impact is made by the project. The profiling processes have greatly enabled the project to have a deeper understanding of the obstacles inhibiting sanitation access and more importantly in a participatory manner. Through such an approach the project was able to co-produce sanitation knowledge with the Local Authority (LA) and share its understanding of the challenges. The interventions under the project have forced local authority out of its comfort zone. The discussion with city managers has resulted in non-conventional toilets being constructed in Shackleton and Brundish. The constructed units have also demonstrated their functionality and provided an important learning component on which other sanitation options can be integrated into policy discussions. Policy makers were exposed to other forms of sanitation systems.
The project has also improved the residents-local authority relations by assuming an education role of both council systems and perceptions about the community. The project has also involved other national stakeholders during its inception resulting in it getting a better and broader acceptance. The National Coordinating Unit and National Action Committee attended the first meetings and their presence took the lessons of the project to the national level. More importantly, the Federation has benefitted a lot from sanitation understanding and experience.
The Federation used to be membership based but the focus is gradually moving towards community-wide intervention so that they make more impact. The project has mobilised non-Federation communities and established community networks that are leading the implementation process. The organised groups were encouraged to save and devise their own management styles. The community has demonstrated that getting in groups will increase the chances of households accessing sanitation. The LA has expressed its willingness to engage with communities if they work as organised groupings.Finance: SDI Contributions:
SDI contributed US$55,543.00Resources Leveraged:
The project is being implemented at a time when the country is experiencing economic challenges. These challenges are affecting the operations of local authorities and their capacity to contribute materially. In this project the project has managed to score a number of concessions from the local authority. The following was successfully negotiated:
• Transport vehicle for participants during an exchange visit: The local authority provided transport to carry Shackleton and Alaska potential beneficiaries to go and see ecosan toilets in Brundish Federation site.
• Negotiated for reduced plan drafting fees in Mpata: The local authority reduced plans from US$86 to US$26 for both designing and approval fees
• Scrapping of stage inspection fees for toilet construction in Mpata: The local authority through their Town Clerk scrapped their stage fee payment, which amounted to a total cost of +US$200. This has enabled the project to build more toilets.
The project also benefited from hygiene training from CUT. The training covered general good hygiene practises and also proper solid waste management. Some Federation women from Brundish settlement benefitted from the training. The training was also instrumental in strengthening community networks and tests the group cohesion during implementation of solid waste management activities.State Subsidy:
The State subsidy was primarily in the form of a waiver and/or reduction of certain fees related to the design, approval and construction process.
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Project information updated: 30 November 2015
Project in depth
Project activity was started in Chinyoi in 2013 by the Zimbabwe Alliance of Dialogue on Shelter and the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation (ZIHOPFE). Chinhoyi town is the provincial capital of Mashonaland and located one hundred and fifteen (115km) from the capital, Harare. Over the last few years Chinhoyi has been developing into surrounding commercial farms, placing more pressure on already scant agricultural land as a resuslt of an increasingly high population density. After the closure of Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) in 2000, Chinhoyi Municipality adopted the two mining suburbs of Alaska and Shackleton. The closure left a gap both in terms of employment and service provision. No plan existed to oversee maintenance of infrastructure provided by ZMDC. Alaska and Shackleton did not have water supply and this has affected waterborne sanitation provision.
Project activity is also planned for Mpata. Communal toilets were constructed in these settlements during the colonial era. After independence and the accompanying rapid migration these facilities were put under increasing pressure due to population growth. The facilities are waterborne and connected to municipal sewer systems. In Mpata, the municipality has not connected individual toilets to the municipal sewer grid. The settlement is very old, having been established in the 1930s, which is evident in the poor facilities in the area. Households have the option to pay high prices to be connected to a sewerage network and the community has not been engaged in management and maintenance of toilets, relying solely on the municipality. Communities in Gadzema were also relying on the municipality for management and maintenance.
In addition to the sanitation and water infrastructure units being built, the aim of the project is to accomplish the following through the project:
• Build relationships
• Strengthen the Federation
• Research precedents
• Dissemination activities.
The project is being implemented over a 3 year period starting in October 2012. Year one activity centred more on generating data to inform about the water and sanitation status in Chinhoyi whilst year 2 was an attempt to respond to identified challenges through construction of sanitation precedents. Finally year 3 focuses on the development of a city wide sanitation strategy that addresses all the assessed challenges and lessons.Community capacity:
Full ownership and participation by the local community and the local authority will increase sustainability and unlock more resource inflows. The community is also lacking an adequate appreciation of the importance of sanitation, which in turn affects issues of uptake and ownership of facilities. The project is planning a series of health mobilisation meetings with the objective to educate people on need of improved sanitation and also how it can be accessed using existing resources. In all these efforts, the project is encouraging the community to come into groups and start saving towards sanitation so that they can access it earlier than waiting to get a loan.
The Federation has mobilised new communities into understanding the concept of savings and how the communities can benefit from the revolving fund. Unlike previous mobilisation efforts, which seek to get the potential beneficiaries to be Federation members, the project was flexible in articulating the challenges against the possibilities that communities can access if they adopt a community wide approach. In some settlements, the Federation had some members and during mobilisation, the savings schemes were further strengthened and in some cases some new members joined. The mobilization was fashioned by problems in a particular settlement. For example, in Mpata, a community network was formed and its main task was to do area clean up and train people on good solid waste management. It is the same group which later transformed into a sanitation network and mobilised others to save for toilet construction.
The group system is working in ensuring consistent repayments.To demonstrate flexibility, the Federation has maintained two groups of beneficiaries in Shackleton. The other is Federation members and the other one non-Federation members. This distinction is respected even in beneficiary selection. The main reason is to give flexibility in determining practical solutions and management systems. The project has established four community networks in four different settlements. Using their savings contribution, beneficiaries were able to reduce their loan amount and only apply for materials which are not locally available.
The Federation has been challenged by the urgent need to scale up its interventions. This realisation has influenced community mobilisation and loan fund management activities. It is the intention that this project be initiated on a national scale, provided there is an enabling policy environment. The project has certainly gone some way to influencing policy shifts within local authorities, with discussions on alternative methods of providing sanitation being discussed.Impact:
It is hoped that this project will influnce not only policy, but also the manner in which sanitation infastructure is provided in Zimbabwe. This project is an example of a community-led and managed infrastructure service provision programme, which offers a sustainable alternative to the conventional waterborne sanitation infrastructure that has been provided by the local authorites until now.Finance: SDI Contributions:
SDI contributed US$55, 543.00 of which US$8,635.00 was for technical assistance.Resources Leveraged:
The project is being implemented at a time when the country is experiencing economic challenges. These challenges are affecting the operations of Local Authorities and their capacity to contribute materially. That being said, the Federation has managed to score a number of concessions from the local authority. The following was successfully negotiated:
• Transport vehicle for participants during an exchange visit. The local authority provided transport to carry Shackleton and Alaska potential beneficiaries to go and see ecosan toilets in Brundish Federation site.
• Negotiated for reduced plan drafting fees in Mpata. The local authority reduced plans from 86USD to 26USD for both designing and approval fees
• Scrapping of stage inspection fees for toilet construction in Mpata. The local authority through their Town Clerk scrapped their stage fee payment which amounted to a total cost of +US$200. Such has enabled the project to build more toilets.
The project also benefited from hygiene training from CUT. The training covered general good hygiene practises and also proper solid waste management. Some Federation women from Brundish settlement benefitted from the training. The training was also instrumental in strengthening community networks and tests the group cohesion during implementation of solid waste management activities.Market Generated Returns:
None to date.Costs recovered from community:
Money repaid by the community will be placed in a revolving fund in a bid to ensure that the project can be scaled. The revolving fund is managed by the Federation and is, in turn, attempting to establish a city level sanitation fund, which will be jointly managed by local authority, the Federation/community and Dialogue on Shelter Trust. It is envisaged that once there is a functional sanitation fund, more people will be able to borrow and also attract more funding from other sources.
In order for the project to be socially sustainability there needs to be support from the communities as well as the municipalities. Savings are vital due to the little to no finances within Council and in order to cover maintenance and ensure dilapidation of infrastructure does not ensue. Negotiations have been ongoing with Council on how we can account for funds invested in communal toilets and use the recovered funds to rehabilitate those in need. If the DEWATS system is a success it will change sanitation access in the settlements, making it easier to maintain facilities. Additionally, it requires cheaper machinery than traditional flush toilets lessening the cost for the community and municipality.
Dialogue on Shelter. (2011). Chinhoyi: Shackleton Profile. [Online]. Available: http://dialogueonshelter.co.zw/downloads.html?download=2:chinhoyi-shackleton-profile.
Mayor of Chinhoyi, ZIHOPFE & Dialogue on Shelter. (2014). Sanitation Partnerships: Zimbabwe Federation Work with Chinhoyi Municipality to Co-produce New Sanitation Options. [Online]. Available: http://sdinet.org/2014/06/sanitation-partnerships-zimbabwe-federation-work-with-chinhoyi-municipality-to-co-produce-new-sanitation-options/.
SHARE. (n.d.). Policy Briefing: Water and Sanitation Action Research the City of Chinhoyi - Community Mapping Towards Inclusive Development. [Online]. Available: http://www.shareresearch.org/research/policy-briefing-water-and-sanitation-action-research-city-chinhoyi-community-mapping.