Zimbabwe (Discontinued as of 31 Dec 2020)

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

people targeted
people got access to safe water


  • Over 3.7 million people needed WASH support under the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), along with 7.3 million people in need under the COVID-19 Addendum. Under the HRP, partners targeted more than 2.7 million people across rural (77 per cent) and urban (23 per cent) areas, while under the COVID-19 Addendum, partners are targeting an additional 2.1 million people.

  • Access to safe water in rural areas remains a challenge with only 30 per cent of the 55,709 water sources providing water from a protected source per the tracking by the Rural Water Information Management System (RWIMS).

  • The dam levels are an average 50 per cent full, whereas some are already at full capacity, which will entail opening them up to the downstream and the remaining ones are expected to continue rising /filling up. Important to note that the southern catchments are largely around 25 per cent capacity, which also shows why there are water stress issues faced in the southern region. Worth to note that majority of the dams are on an upward trend regards supply capacity.

  • The number of boreholes that are breaking down are increasing due to wear and tear, lack of spare parts, communities lacking funds and support to repair them. Sustainability of water points remains a key challenge for the sector.

  • The cumulative figures for typhoid as of 3 January 2021 were 817 cases and no change on the deaths - 11, while for diarrhoea the weekly cumulative figures were 7,196 cases and 4 deaths, across all provinces.

  • With 13,625 cases of COVID-19 cases as of 31 December 2020, and with the rainy season starting there is important that communities continue to use safe water and practice hand washing, and for all HCFs to have adequate WASH services and IPC measures in place.

  • According to RWIMS, 44 per cent of rural health facilities do not have functioning incinerators, while 3.5 per cent have no functioning toilets and 12 per cent have no handwashing facilities.

  • A total of 165 schools across 10 provinces have been prioritized as needing new boreholes by the MoPSE. According to RWIMS, 53 per cent of schools have no existing handwashing facilities and 21 per cent of schools have no safe sanitation facilities.


  • HRP partners have reached 718,437 people with access to safe water. A total of 193,704 people have been assisted with hygiene items through the distribution of hygiene kits and 2,698,451 people have received hygiene promotion messaging through mobile and community campaigns. Since January 2020, 31 HCF facilities have been supported by WASH HRP Partners.

  • HRP COVID-19 partners have reached in total, 92,070 people with access to safe water and 360,261 people with sanitation and hygiene messaging.

  • Government and partners constructed 28,017 handwashing stations across the country in institutions, marketplaces, and communities, drilled 429 boreholes, rehabilitated 5,010 boreholes across the 10 provinces over the period in review


  • The increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths has resulted to decreased filed physical presence to implement project activities mainly because they lack PPE, impacting negatively on the work progress in the field. There is also increased stigma and fear among the communities increasing the need for messaging.

  • There has been a small change in funding during the past months for the WASH Cluster’s HRP to 12.2 per cent ($8 million) of the funding being realized and with the COVID-19 response, funding remaining at 11.7 per cent ($1.1 million), according to FTS.

  • Additional funding is needed as COVID-19 cases are increasing, the storms effects, and for some water stressed provinces like Bulawayo. There is also a high risk of diarrheal diseases during this rain season.

  • Although over 2.7 million people have been reached with through mass media hygiene campaigns, over 3.4 million people in 47 of the 85 targeted districts have not received essential messaging for COVID-19 and other key public health risks. In addition, there is the need to increase water supply and sanitation infrastructure.

  • Under the HRP and COVID-19 response, only 30 per cent of the 2.3 million targeted with access to safe drinking water have been reached, leaving 1.6 million people in 16 of the 35 targeted districts with no support at all.

  • The HRP and COVID-19 response has reached 56 per cent of the targeted 939,650 with hygiene kits, 35 out of 66 targeted districts have received support however there is still need for hygiene kits to reach the outstanding 45 per cent of people in need.

  • About 10 per cent of the targeted health facilities have been reached in 3 of the targeted 35 districts. At least 318 targeted health care facilities therefore still have no identified partner to provide support with institutional hygiene kits including soap, cleaning materials disinfectants and PPE.

  • The current rain season spell increases the need for water quality monitoring, where contamination of water points is high across the country and may affect water supply to communities. There is also the increased need for borehole spares across provinces to support borehole rehabilitation activities in communities.