Situation Report

Cluster Status

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

people targeted
people reached


  • Over 3.7 million people are in need of 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 are targeting more than 4 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 tracked by the Rural Water Information Management System (RWIMS), providing water from a protected source.

  • According to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), the national dam level average as of 16 July was at 46.4 per cent, while the average levels for this time of year are usually 68.8 per cent. Dams that supply Bulawayo City are at just 25.6 per cent capacity and there is a deficit of 17 million litres of water per day for the city’s residents. Plumtree Town council water source, Mangwe Dam that supplies more than 6,000 residents with water is drying up and its levels are at around 35 per cent). Flows in major rivers have significantly declined, with no flows in Runde, Gwayi and Mzingwane Rivers. These shortages also affect hydropower generation, which in turn affects urban water supply and treatment and causing water rationing which impacts people’s ability to maintain good hygiene practices.

  • In Matabeland South, Mashonaland East and West, Masvingo, Harare and Matabeleland South Province boreholes and shallow wells are reported to be drying up due to the ongoing drought. At the same time, the number of boreholes that are breaking down are increasing as communities lack funds and support to repair them.

  • The cumulative figures for typhoid as of 4 October were 717 cases and 10 deaths, while for diarrhoea the cumulative figures were 239, 858 cases and 115 deaths, across all provinces.

  • With 8,275 cases of COVID-19 cases as of 25 October, and with the rainy season starting there is an urgent need to ensure all HCFs 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 179,223 people with access to safe water. A total of 45,853 people have been assisted with hygiene items through the distribution of hygiene kits and over 205,000 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 3,141 handwashing stations across the country in institutions, marketplaces, and communities, drilled 21 boreholes, rehabilitated 221 boreholes and 4 boreholes across the 10 provinces over the period in review.


  • There has been no change in funding during the past month for the WASH Cluster’s HRP with only 3 per cent ($1.8 million) of the funding being realized. For the COVID-19 response, funding remains at 13.6 per cent ($983,086). Significant gaps across all areas of the WASH response remain due to the lack of funding.

  • Although 2.6 million people have been reached with WASH activities under the HRP and COVID-10 response, this is predominately through mass media hygiene campaigns, and 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.

  • Under the HRP and COVID-19 response, only 27 per cent of the 2.3 million targeted with access to safe drinking water have been reached, leaving 1.7 million people in 18 of the 35 targeted districts with no support at all.

  • For hygiene kits under the HRP and COVID-19 response, 18 per cent of the targeted 939,650 people have been reached and more than 766,000 of the most vulnerable people require hygiene kits, as just 20 out of 66 targeted Districts have received support.

  • Only 10 per cent of the targeted health facilities have been reached in three of the targeted 35 districts. 268 targeted health care facilities therefore still have no identified partner to provide support with institutional hygiene kits including soap, cleaning materials disinfectants and PPE.

  • With schools reopening the needs in schools have come to the fore with 165 schools still requiring new water sources while 785 schools need institutional hygiene kits.

  • Fuel pricing in US dollars is resulting in lack of transport, particularly for government agencies, which is affecting the WASH Sector’s ability to implement activities across all districts.

  • The increased reports of water points drying up across the country continues to affect water supply in communities with some government departments reporting shortages of borehole spares across provinces to support borehole rehabilitation activities in communities.