A Plan for Clean Water

The 2008 water shortages and cholera outbreaks in Zimbabwe created a dangerous situation affecting 100,000 people leading to 4,000 deaths. It was hard for parents and caregivers to get adequate food for children, as many people were near starvation. Chiedza Community Based Orphan Welfare Organization (Chiedza) say that in 2008, you could really see the HIV pandemic taking its toll, as people could not rely on a steady supply of medication or adequate food. Firelight funds Chiedza's chicken income-generating activities in four villages. Their profits are used to support the education, health, and nutrition needs of vulnerable children. Due to water shortages, communities had difficulty keeping the chickens alive. They transported water from the river and the hospital, but it was not easy to find enough.

When the situation improved,  Chiedza had emerged more assertive and strategic. They realize they are not out of the woods yet as water shortages are still possible, but they have now set up a system of community contributions to ensure they have food stocks for six months. Each household supplies ten kilograms of maize after the harvest, churches contribute, and women work together to till special plots of land whose harvest is designated for orphaned children. Chiedza notices that children’s health is improving, “life has been restored to most of our villages.”