|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 2,916,789 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.
UMCOR has focused its work to date in the provinces of Manicaland, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Matabeleland North and Mashonaland West Provinces. UMCOR’s memorandum of understanding with the Government of Zimbabwe also covers communities in the provinces of Bulawayo, Midlands, and Masvingo. UMCOR currently has a total staff complement of 74 with its head officequarters in Harare including 7 district Sub-offices:
1. UMP District
2. Mutoko District
3. Binga District
4. Kariba Nyaminyami District
5. Murehwa District
6. Makonde District
7. Mbire District
UMCOR is currently involved in the direct implementation of projects in the following sectors:
Food Security, Agriculture, and Livelihoods integrated with Water and Sanitation across 7 districts in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (Zambezi Valley Alliance Consortium)
UMCOR is working with a Consortium to strengthen the resilience capacities of at-risk communities in 45 wards in Binga, Kariba and Mbire Districts to absorb, recover and adapt to the effects of shocks and stresses in a manner that protects livelihoods and recovery gains, and supports sustainable transformation. The project will build on the experience of Consortium partners in the implementation of innovative resilience projects, thereby maximising cross-learning and leveraging the members’ distinctive competencies. A total of 271,957 beneficiaries will be reached by 2019.
Enhancing Food Production and Nutrition Security through Productive Asset Creation (PAC) and Conditional Lean Season Assistance (CLSA)
Since October 2012 UMCOR has worked in partnership with the World Food Program (WFP) to improve food security through their Lean Seasonal Assistance, Health and Nutrition and Productive Asset Creation programs in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP), Mutoko, Kariba, Binga and Makonde districts.
UMCOR has had a presence in UMP District since 2012 with diversified project portfolio that was aimed at building the livelihoods of the vulnerable communities in the marginalized and disaster prone wards falling under agro-ecological regions. Under the productive assets creation project in 2013/14, UMCOR created/rehabilitated 34 productive assets which include small dams, dip tanks, community nutrition centers, cattle sales pens and irrigation schemes including an additional 30 assets created in Kariba and Binga Districts in 2015/16.
The objective of the PAC program is to improve food and nutrition security by creating productive assets combined with appropriate training linked to food and nutrition security during the peak hunger season. UMCOR is assisting to relieve hunger during the current 2016/17 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 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 and the Conditional Lean Season Assistance will help 404,664 beneficiaries (November 2012- March 2017)
Community Based Integrated Development Project
In 2014 UMCOR developed and implemented the pilot phase of the Community Based Integrated Development Project which was aimed at supporting food security and nutrition, livelihoods, health and access to Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in UMP district. This approach builds upon the national strategy and policy direction as enunciated in the ZIMASSET and strategically fitted and addressed the Millennium Development Goals which focused on improving access to WASH services. The overall goal of the Integrated Project is to increase the resilience of communities to threats and crises that affect their agricultural production, food and nutrition security and WASH. The programme also aims to increase access to safe water and basic sanitation services, and promote improved hygiene in UMP District.
Currently a 3.5-year Integrated Approach in Enhancing Food Security and Nutrition, Health and WASH project is being implemented and was first initiated in January 2015 with the aim of supporting 18,618 beneficiaries. Some of the accomplishments include:
a) All 34 assets (including small dams, irrigated Community Nutrition Centres, a cattle sales pen and dip tanks) rehabilitated through this approach since 2013 are and currently still active and well maintained due to a high level of community engagement throughout the process ensuring projects are relevant and sustainable.
b) 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.
Health and Nutrition
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.
UMCOR is currently implementing the Health and Nutrition project in Binga, Kariba and Makonde Districts. The overall objective is treatment of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) for children aged between 6-59months in Kariba, Binga and Makonde Districts targeting 17,174 clients.
• World Food Programme
• UN Funds
• UN OCHA
• Italian Foundation
• 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 and , the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises., and the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
• United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
• Ministry of Health and child Care
• Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
UMCOR Head Offices in Zimbabwe
10 Lanark Road
UMCOR Zimbabwe Sub-Offices
UMP District - UMP Zvataida Rural District Council Compound
Mutoko District - Stand number 178 Mutoko centre
Binga District - Stand number 459 Binga Township
Kariba Nyaminyami District - Stand number 104-5 Alpina House Nyaminyami
Murehwa District - ARDA Warehouses, Murehwa Centre
Makonde District - 5386 Magamba way Chinhoyi.
Mbire District - Mbire Rural District Council Compound, Mushumbi pools