HiHZim in fight against COVID-19

As part of its COVID-19 response, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HiHZim) will be rolling out a number of COVID- 19 humanitarian activities which include the distribution of food hampers, awareness material, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and disinfectants to front line staff and other essential service providers in the seven (7) national districts it operates in.

This intervention will benefit more than 300 000 community members in 82 wards, 35 Rural Health Centres, 400 health staff and 35 local partners in the seven districts, namely Bulilima, Chikomba, Chirumanzu, Gwanda, Lupane, Nkayi and Shurugwi.

Distributions of the food hampers and other material will be done under special arrangements line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) safety guidelines.

Food hampers, awareness material, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and disinfectants ready to be delivered to districts.

Part of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe interventions will also include Information dissemination in local languages to create and raise awareness on COVID-19. Posters, brochures and flyers on COVID-19 risk awareness have been developed and will be distributed in all the seven districts.

In an Interview Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Felix Tete said the organisation has put up some strategies which will be implemented over a 3-month period to support the government in mitigating adverse effects and the impact of COVID-19.

“The health crisis in Zimbabwe calls in for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) including those working with the rural communities to support government in raising awareness and putting up responsive measures in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown threatening the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable rural communities, we have come up with strategies that include; Information dissemination /distribution of IEC Material and distribution of PPE to health centres and health professionals.

He added that the organisation is assisting vulnerable families in communities it operates in with food hampers after having noted that, the COVID-19 pandemic may push rural families even deeper into poverty, hunger and desperation.

“With movements restricted to contain further spread of the virus in the country, many of our entrepreneurs are unable to access markets to sell produce or to buy inputs thus putting a strain on household food security and income generation.

“Hand in Hand Zimbabwe will however do its best to ensure food security for vulnerable households,” Tete said.

Having noted that there has been a spike of Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases due to the COVID 19 Lockdown, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe will also work with the District COVID-19 Task Teams to disseminate information on GBV and how to prevent it. This will be done in partnership with the Ministry of Women Affairs Small and Medium Enterprises Development and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Victim Friendly Unit (VFU).

Infection control accessories such as tippy tap hand washing facilities and liquid soap will also be distributed to water sources, business centres, and community gardens to help contain the spread of Covid-19.

Apart from the upcoming intervention, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has for the past 4 years supported rural communities in Bulilima, Chikomba, Chirumanzu, Gwanda and Nkayi with access to clean water and sanitary facilities.

To date, the organisation has installed at least 9 Solar powered boreholes and supplied building material for eight garden Blair toilets which will go a long way in providing water and sanitation for over 9000 community members for use in managing and mitigating the spread and effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

In Zimbabwe, just like in many developing countries, many rural communities lack access to clean water which is a prerequisite to good hygiene. With that in mind, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HiH Zim) has through the support of its valued donors extended efforts in providing clean water and sanitation which does not only benefit its entrepreneurs but the communities at large.

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