THE number of urban dwellers using unimproved or shared sanitation facilities has
remained high in Masvingo province with over 60 percent dwellers using shared
toilets, the Star understands.
According to data released by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee
(ZimVAC) 2023 urban livelihoods assessment report, 61,7 percent of households in
Masvingo province followed by the Mashonaland Central province with 55,1 percent.
Bulawayo and Matabeleland North had the least number of households with
unimproved facilities with 33,7 percent and 48,7 percent respectively.
Matabeleland South had the highest number of dwellers who are using the bush at
9,9 percent followed by Mashonaland Central with 7,9 percent.
According to the report unimproved sanitation facilities are those facilities that do not
ensure hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact.
Unimproved facilities include pit latrines without a slab or platform, hanging latrines
and bucket latrines.
Open Defecation is the disposal of human faeces in fields, forest, bushes, open
bodies of water, beaches or other open spaces or with solid waste.
“The proportion of households which accessed improved sanitation was 46.6
percent. Masvingo, 61.7 percent had the highest proportion of households which
used unimproved/ shared sanitation facilities.
“Attention should be given to Matabeleland South 10 percent which had the highest
proportion of households practising open defecation.”
Meanwhile, Masvingo City Council together with its partners Dialogue on Shelter and
the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation have embarked on the upgrading and
improving sanitation of the Tanaiwa slums in Mucheke.
The partnership was able to upgrade Mambo Hostels and reduce the number of
people sharing toilets as the hostels were initially constructed for single tenants prior
In an interview, Dialogue on Shelter Projects Officer, Thomas Karakadzai, said as a
partnership they are now working on the upgrading of the Tanaiwa hostels and
ensuring that they construct individualised toilets with 14 already complete.
“Tanaiwa has four blocks with 56 rooms and a similar number of households with an
average household size of six to seven people who were sharing two communal
toilets, one for males and one for female and two communal water points. We
managed to construct 14 individualised toilets and 14 water points for block one and
block two. These benefited 14 households,” he said.
“We are currently in the completion phase of the second block and we have built 14
toilets that are at plumbing and roofing stages. The project will benefit the other 14
He said they are also doing the same for the third and the fourth blocks, where they
are already working on constructing a drainage line and shade toilets in anticipation
that they get adequate funding.
Karakadzai said the partnership amongst Dialogue on Shelter and the Zimbabwe
Homeless People Federation and the local authority is on slum upgrading with the
intention of improving water and sanitation.