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HCC mulls new waste, water management model – NewsDay

Harare City Council mayor Jacob Mafume

HARARE City Council (HCC) is considering adopting the waste management and clean water model introduced in the capital by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

The project, which was done in a number of areas and most recently in Mbare and Southlea Park suburbs, has proven to be an effective way of providing clean and safe drinking water, as well as proper waste collection methods.

Speaking during an MSF environmental health seminar last Thursday, mayor Jacob Mafume said they were going to make efforts to adopt the model.

“We applaud efforts by MSF in the Mbare and Stoneridge projects which to date have enabled the construction of 72 water points helping to ease water challenges in the city. We are looking forward to develop a pro-poor water supply system in the near future,” he said.

The intervention has helped in lessening incidents of water-borne diseases in the two areas which were cholera hotspots.

Lamenting the city’s depleting water reserves, Mafume said: “The last dam for Harare, Darwendale Dam, was built in 1976 to service a population of 500 000 people and now the population is creeping to four million people.

“We need to build a water source for Harare. We have tried to improve Morton Jaffray (Waterworks) with Chinese funding, but we still face challenges of chemicals. We only have museum pieces (old and outdated equipment) in the name of chemical plants.”

MSF’s environmental health project started in 2015 and during its span, the project provided cutting-edge solutions in the field of groundwater, mitigating environmental degradation and climate change through solid and bio-waste management and recycling, and developing communities’ resilience through communities’ empowerment and engagement, capacity building of WASH (water and sanitation) sectors and in overall, prevention of communicable diseases.

Harare epidemiology and disease control officer Michael Vhere recently said they had to decommission three boreholes in the wake of the typhoid outbreak reported in December last year.

“At the moment, we have an ongoing outbreak of typhoid in Harare and the main area affected is Glen Norah, which is contributing to about 60% of cases. The total number that we have reported so far is 89, of which 20 are confirmed cases and the rest are suspected cases. We have managed to find out the sources of this outbreak and have tested boreholes mainly in Glen Norah and some in Mbare,” he said.

Vhere added that they found three boreholes to be contaminated with faecal matter.

“We temporarily closed the boreholes pending installation of inline chlorinators which have since been installed and the community is now using them again,” he said.

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Zimbabwe approves ‘draconian’ law targeting civil society – News24

  • Zimbabwe’s government has approved legislation that looks to “improve accountability” of charities in the country.
  • It has, however, drawn flak, with critics saying it is a measure to gag civil society groups.
  • Just one senator voted against the legislation.

Zimbabwe’s upper house of parliament has approved legislation that critics say will gag civil society groups, placing them under the threat of harsh sanctions and strict government control.

The senate voted late Wednesday in favour of the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill, which needs to be ratified by the president before passing into law. The text sailed through the country’s other chamber of parliament, the National Assembly, late last year.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the law was a “necessary measure to improve the administration, accountability and transparency” of charities working in the country.

He accused some of “directing money to favoured political parties.”

“We cannot run the risk of charities of a public character being used as a cover for theft, embezzlement, tax evasion, money laundering or partisan political activities,” Ziyambi told the senate on Wednesday.

Rights groups and opposition parties complain of an increased government clampdown on dissent as the country heads towards general elections later this year.

READ | Protesting Zimbabwe health workers could face jail after new law passed

The bill bans civil society organisations from engaging in politics and allows the state to interfere in their governance and activities, such as making changes to their internal management and funding.

Those found in breach of its provisions risk up to a year in jail and the closure of their organisation.

‘Obscene’ law

Only one senator voted against the law. The chamber is dominated by the ruling ZANU party, with the main opposition group – the Citizens Coalition for Change – holding no seats.

The lone dissenter, Senator Morgen Komichi, called the bill “obscene”, saying NGOs provide key support in areas including health, education and food security.

“Zimbabwe is a country that does not have a strong economy which can cater for every Zimbabwean,” Komichi said.

Critics argue that the law’s broad scope risks de facto criminalising the activity of any organisation disliked by the government.

Some warned it could lead to drastic cuts in foreign aid, which comes through non-governmental organisations, and is estimated to be Zimbabwe’s third-largest revenue stream.

READ | Zimbabwe debuts gold coins as currency

Prominent journalist and activist Hopewell Chin’ono, said on Twitter the “draconian” legislation was similar to an apartheid-era law in South Africa that barred certain civil organisations from receiving foreign aid or funds.

“This is the lowest any modern state can get to. Especially a state that was born through struggle for freedom, independence and democracy,” Peter Mutasa, director of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a civil society umbrella group, told AFP.

“We never expected that we could sink this low”.

Up to 18 000 people working for non-governmental organisations in the country risk losing their jobs, he said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who replaced long-time ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017, faces widespread discontent as he struggles to ease entrenched poverty, end chronic power cuts and brake inflation.


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Zimbabwe approves ‘draconian’ law targeting civil society – Modern Ghana

Zimbabwe’s upper house of parliament has approved legislation that critics say will gag civil society groups, placing them under the threat of harsh sanctions and strict government control.

The senate voted late Wednesday in favour of the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill, which needs to be ratified by the president before passing into law. The text sailed through the country’s other chamber of parliament, the National Assembly, late last year.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the law was a “necessary measure to improve the administration, accountability and transparency” of charities working in the country.

He accused some of “directing money to favoured political parties.”

“We cannot run the risk of charities of a public character being used as a cover for theft, embezzlement, tax evasion, money laundering or partisan political activities,” Ziyambi told the senate on Wednesday.

Rights groups and opposition parties complain of an increased government clampdown on dissent as the country heads towards general elections later this year.

The bill bans civil society organisations from engaging in politics and allows the state to interfere in their governance and activities, such as making changes to their internal management and funding.

Those found in breach of its provisions risk up to a year in jail and the closure of their organisation.

‘Obscene’ law

Only one senator voted against the law. The chamber is dominated by the ruling ZANU party, with the main opposition group — the Citizens Coalition for Change — holding no seats.

The lone dissenter, Senator Morgen Komichi, called the bill “obscene”, saying NGOs provide key support in areas including health, education and food security.

“Zimbabwe is a country that does not have a strong economy which can cater for every Zimbabwean,” Komichi said.

Critics argue that the law’s broad scope risks de facto criminalising the activity of any organisation disliked by the government.

Some warned it could lead to drastic cuts in foreign aid, which comes through non-governmental organisations, and is estimated to be Zimbabwe’s third-largest revenue stream.

Prominent journalist and activist Hopewell Chin’ono, said on Twitter the “draconian” legislation was similar to an apartheid-era law in South Africa that barred certain civil organisations from receiving foreign aid or funds.

“This is the lowest any modern state can get to. Especially a state that was born through struggle for freedom, independence and democracy,” Peter Mutasa, director of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a civil society umbrella group, told AFP.

“We never expected that we could sink this low”.

Up to 18,000 people working for non-governmental organisations in the country risk losing their jobs, he said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who replaced long-time ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017, faces widespread discontent as he struggles to ease entrenched poverty, end chronic power cuts and brake inflation.

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Zimbabwean pastors flee ministry to join more lucrative care work in … – Baptist News Global

Zimbabwe is blighted by a fearsome 240% inflation rate, one of the world’s highest. The nation’s pastors, although dedicated to the calling of Christ’s work, are struggling to eat or pay bills just like their impoverished congregants.

“We can’t dance in front of the pulpit and hide our poverty. I don’t feel bad for leaving my congregation,” said Tinaye Tangwena, 45, a former evangelical pastor who served congregations for 15 years in Zimbabwe. He now lives in Watford, England, 7,600 miles away from his home in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is a former colony of the UK, where there is strong demand for care workers, ambulance drivers, social workers, doctors and nurses partly due to the UK leaving the European Union and the staff burnout in England hospitals over the last two years. In Zimbabwe, where electricity is short, salaries for civil servants can be as low as $100 a month and emergency medication in public hospitals is usually absent.

Seeing their congregations flee poverty, pastors also are immigrating, dumping the pulpit for nursing home care work in England.

Thus, dire poverty and the lure of a better life are driving thousands of Zimbabwe’s nurses and care workers to decamp to the UK. Seeing their congregations flee poverty, pastors also are immigrating, dumping the pulpit for nursing home care work in England.

“I’m not shy to quit being a pastor, immigrate and become an elderly care worker in the UK,” said Silas Gatsheni, a Baptist pastor from Zimbabwe who has just arrived to work in a nursing home in Liverpool. “I know 10 Zimbabwe pastors who have arrived here in England to become care home workers in 2022. As the Bible says, it’s an exodus.”

Baptist News Global has reported in the past on escalating emigration from Zimbabwe as difficulties mount in the country. Average salaries for care workers in the UK generally come to $28,000 a year. This is a fortune for Zimbabwe emigres like Gatsheni. So, despite having a relatively small population of 15 million people, Zimbabwe has become one of the top five countries of origin whose nationals are getting work visas to the UK.

“Ministering, leading Christ’s followers as a pastor must not become financial slavery,” said Dana Sakadzo, a Pentecostal pastor in the UK who also left behind 10 years of ministry and his congregation to become a janitor in a nursing home in Glasgow, Scotland.

Sakadzo breaks down the math of survival. Pastors in many Zimbabwe churches don’t get formal salaries; they get by on congregations’ generosity and tithes because in Zimbabwe there’s a societal attitude that being a pastor is a “calling” and not a salaried profession. For a few pastors who get formal salaries in elite churches in cities, wages are as pitiful as $300 a month. In the rural areas, pastors live in even more precarious situations and are paid not in cash but by gifts such as live chickens.

“I used to care for people’s spiritual needs in Zimbabwe, now I care for their health in the UK.”

“Back in Zimbabwe, we couldn’t make proper breakfast or pay electricity on a pastor’s salaries or tithes,” said Sakadzo, who trained as a nurse in Zimbabwe before quitting to become a pastor in the early 2000s. “I used to care for people’s spiritual needs in Zimbabwe, now I care for their health in the UK.”

In Zimbabwe, most pastors already held professional qualifications such as mechanics, nursing and teacher diplomas well before they became pastors, said Dean Moloi, a trained nurse, who served as a pastor in Zimbabwe 10 years. “It’s terrible back home, and the congregation would go for three months without paying me a salary.”

He reverted to his midwife qualifications and has now found work in Leicester, England, at a public hospital.

But some of these pastors believe they haven’t left the ministry. In addition to serving the medical and social needs of clients, they have opportunities to start churches.

“I don’t see pastors’ immigration as a complete loss to Zimbabwe. Here in the UK, we get a chance to open new congregations and serve the Zimbabwe diaspora,” said Gatsheni, who works in a nursing home.

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