Fungai Lupande Mashonaland Central Bureau
The Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene national action committee this week met with the provincial sub-sector in Mashonaland Central to resuscitate the Rural Wash Information Management System (RWIMS).
Acting provincial development coordinator Mr Cosmas Chiringa thanked the Government and its development partners for extending the programme to the province.
“No development can be achieved in any society when the provision of potable water is not satisfied,” he said.
“RWIMS will enable us and every development partner to practice evidence-based planning for intervention in our communities.”
WASH information and knowledge management officer Mr Lovemore Dhoba said RWIMS was developed as a national database for the rural WASH sub-sector.
“We didn’t have a central system acting as a one-stop-shop,” he said.
“When this system started it was meant to collect data in the eight rural provinces, but we lacked a system that brought different structures and stakeholders together.
“Mashonaland Central and Manicaland have upgraded systems that address response services rather than the only indication where boreholes have broken down. We are not capitalising on the system as a province and it is unfortunate that the chief executive officers for rural district councils did not come.
“We have a centralised geographic database in Harare that is hosting data from the provinces. The data is supplied by extension workers in their different wards who have a tablet connected to the national database.
“However, they are not capacitated to move from one point to another and we have connected the community of users. We identified a key informant who sends a free text message about challenges in their respective communal water points, schools or health facilities.”
District Development Fund’s director for water supplies Mr Edwin Toriro said information management was critical in the WASH sector.
“We are happy to have the Ministry of Education being a permanent player in the WASH committee because we have been having a lot of problem with new schools being built in areas without water supplies,” said Mr Toriro.
“WASH sector relies on various data sources, we need to harmonise and enhance the information across the districts. It is a matter of time before we hear another outcry in Rushinga district because the water level is dwindling.”
The national coordinator for National Coordination Unit (NCU) Mr Hasios Ronald Mashingaidze said the (RWIMS) was introduced last year, but the national action committee was having challenges in data capturing and having it automated at national level.