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Emergency Response Fund in Action in Zimbabwe

31 Jan 2011


Sibanda, an orphan who was forced out of school following his parents’ deaths. Credit: OCHA/Lilian Nduta
Khulekani Sibanda, 20, smiles bigger than ever before, as he just received $24 of groceries for his work clearing sand and debris from a section of storm drains in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Sibanda, an orphan who was forced out of school following his parents’ deaths, participated in a food for work project implemented by Environment Africa (EA), a local NGO based in Victoria Falls. With approval from the Emergency Response Fund (ERF) Advisory Board chaired by the Humanitarian Coordinator, EA agreed on a partnership with Victoria Falls Municipality to implement the Victoria Falls Emergency Gulley Reclamation and Sewage Management project in Chinotimba high density suburb.

Due to massive soil movements, underground sanitation systems had been exposed and damaged by speeding waters.  This led to a free flow of sewage in the suburbs and heightened the threat of spread of diseases that thrive in poor sanitation. Sibanda is among some youths, widows and people from vulnerable families selected by the council to participate in the project.  The work involved collection of boulders and loading onto council trucks, clearing trenches of debris and digging fresh trenches.

In 2010, ERF funded 21 projects in Zimbabwe with grants worth $3.9 million. These projects were activated in response to food insecurity, deteriorating Health and WASH and the decline of social services in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe ERF also gave local population the opportunity to participate in projects to increase the ownership of the final results.

More on the ERFs>>