|Connie Neserwi, left, a village health worker, holds children’s hands in Chimanimani district, Zimbabwe. UMCOR supported a malaria control program to update training of village health workers. Photo: Jay Rollins.
UMCOR established a country office in Zimbabwe in 2009 and has supported more than 872,000 people through a combination of Food and Nutrition Security, WASH, Health, Protection and Disaster Risk Management programs.
UMCOR works alongside local communities to identify needs and solutions, and collaborates with local and international partners, community groups, governments, and faith-based organizations, to respond to those needs in sectors such as livelihoods, health, child protection and community development.
In Zimbabwe, UMCOR has focused its work to date in the provinces of Manicaland and Mashonaland East. UMCOR’s memorandum of understanding with the Government of Zimbabwe also covers communities in the provinces of Bulawayo, Midlands, and Masvingo, with scope for expansion. UMCOR currently has a head office in Harare with 12 employees and a Sub-office in Kariba District with 14 employees and 3 interns.
UMCOR is currently involved in the direct implementation of projects in the following sectors:
Food Security, Agriculture, and Livelihoods integrated with Water and Sanitation
UMCOR is currently implementing a World Food Programme co-funded 11 month program entitled Enhancing Food and Nutrition Security through Productive Asset Creation (PAC) and Conditional Lean Season Assistance (CLSA). Productive Asset Creation was implemented during the initial 6 months and the Conditional Lean Season Assistance component will be conducted between November 2015 and March 2016, implemented in Kariba District.
The objective of the program is to improve food and nutrition security in Kariba district by creating productive assets combined with appropriate training linked to food and nutrition security during the peak hunger season which will be complimented by food relief for the most vulnerable.
During the first phase of the project, UMCOR:
- Established seven irrigated Community Nutrition Centres (CNCs)
- Constructed Makuyu fish pond and market stall
- Constructed one and rehabbed of two earth dams
UMCOR is assisting to relieve hunger during the current lean season through:
- Community agriculture, health and nutrition related training of trainers
- Business and household financial management support
- Environmental conservation work such as River Bank Protection and Human Wildlife Conflict Management Training in partnership with the Parks and Wildlife Department
- Construction of 3 drift bridges to support access to schools and medical services during the rainy season
- Community brick molding to support school classroom and sanitation facility
The Productive Asset Creation component reached 12,160 beneficiaries (June - November 2015) whilst the Conditional Lean Season Assistance will support 9,195 beneficiaries (November 2015- March 2016).
UMCOR has worked in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP) district since October 2012 working in partnership with communities, local leaders and the World Food Programme to improve the food and nutrition security of the most vulnerable communities.
All 34 assets (including small dams, irrigated Community Nutrition Centres, a cattle sales pen and dip tanks) rehabilitated through this approach since 2013 are still active and well maintained due to a high level of community engagement throughout the process ensuring projects are relevant and sustainable.
The initial phase of the pilot project has seen a significant improvement in livelihoods, health and WASH indicators, including:
- Income at Community Nutrition Centres increased by almost 50 percent
- Post-harvest losses reduced from above 30 percent to zero after introducing solar driers which improve the nutritional value of produce.
- Cattle prices have more than doubled due to improved access to markets and veterinary services.
- Community-led saving and lending groups improved household management of resources.
- Working with Village Health Workers led to a higher awareness of infant and child nutrition and community hygiene and sanitation.
- Sanitation coverage has increased from 14% to 32% within 9 months and gains continue due to local builders being trained and the initiatives of Community Health Clubs.
A second phase has been planned and proposed for 2016 to expand and deepened the impact of this work.
In Zimbabwe, UMCOR has completed two malaria-prevention programs, covering 12 high-malaria-burden wards in Chimanimani District, Manicaland province. In coordination with the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) and district partners, UMCOR has:
Provided 45,437 long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets to 19,199 households.
- Trained 449 stakeholders in malaria prevention and monitoring and evaluation. Stakeholders include village health workers; community care givers; local, traditional, and religious leaders; environmental health technicians; government health staff; school health masters; and ward councilors.
- Supplied Information, Education and Communication/Behavior-change Communication (IEC/BCC) support through drama and publicity materials in all program areas. This is complemented by a strong monitoring and evaluation component in coordination with NMCP and other nongovernmental organizations. UMCOR also works closely with church partners to increase the effectiveness of IEC/BCC components.
- World Food Programme
- Established Zimbabwean Food and Nutrition Security Networks and Structures: At the district and local levels, UMCOR has partnerships with the Zimbabwean Ministry of Agriculture, the Department of Agricultural Technical and Extension Services (AGRITEX), Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services, the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises, and the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
UMCOR Offices in Zimbabwe
10 Lanark Road
Stand number 104-5