Although access to clean water and basic sanitation is considered to be a fundamental right according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 6), 2.5 billion people lack improved sanitation facilities and 784 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources globally. As a result approximately 1400 children under the age of 5 die every day from water borne illnesses and diarrheal diseases globally. This is very unfortunate because every minute a child is dying from a disease that can be prevented by providing proper water and sanitation facilities. The Chidobe community’s strategic vision is for every child in the Mvuthu Chiefdom to have sustainable clean water and dignified sanitation and to practice healthy hygiene behaviors by 2020. Meeting this goal will ensure children are able to realize a fundamental human right, decrease their likelihood of illness and disease and increase their ability to live full and productive lives. Apart from poor health outcomes, consequences of inadequate WASH reverberate in every aspect of a childs life. Mahatma Gandhi once said provision of proper sanitation is better than independence, the UN Secretary- General Ban Ki- Moon said, Safe drinking water and adequate sanitation are crucial for poverty reduction, crucial for sustainable development, and crucial for achieving any and every Sustainable Development Goals. It is against this back ground that the Chidobe Community decided to take a leading role in the elimination of open defecation in its communities following a theme: CHIDOBE COMMUNITY ENDING OPEN DEFECATION BY 2020, LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND.
Chidobe Ward is one of the Wards in Hwange District, Matabeleland North Zimbabwe with 32% sanitation coverage meaning 68% of the ward is practicing open defecation which results in the rise of diarrheal diseases and helminthic infections. This project seeks to to address the challenge of sanitation facilities through a multi sectorial approach leaving no one behind.