HARARE, Sept 29 — At least 76 per cent of Zimbabwe’s population have access to safe drinking water, a Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) report shows.

According to the Zimbabwe Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of 2014 report, launched by ZimStat this month, the majority of Zimbabweans are drinking water from improved sources such as, borehole, protected wells and springs.

“Of the 24 per cent who still use unimproved drinking water, 12 per cent reported using an appropriate treatment method for their drinking water,” added the report.

The report shows that 35 per cent of households use improved sanitation facilities such as the flush system and pit latrines.

The survey was conducted among 17 000 households in every province in the country on social indicators covering nutrition, child and maternal mortality, health, child protection and development, education,
reproductive health, and sexual behaviour.

The research was funded by the European Union (EU), the United Nations Deevelopment Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) Country Representative, Reza Hossaini, said although most cities and towns were still battling to provide households with running water, people were drinking clean water.

“Seventy-six percent of Zimbabweans use safe drinking water which means when they want water for drinking they go to a borehole or they treat it at household level using pills or chlorine,” he said.

Zimbabwe experienced an outbreak of cholera in 2008 that affected over 100,000 people and killed 4,000 because people in most cities had no access to safe drinking water. The Government, with the support of donors, launched several initiatives to address the underlying causes of cholera.

These initiatives have contributed to the recovery of the water and sanitation sector and to reductions in cholera cases and other related deaths.

Safe drinking water and sanitation are some of the essential elements that determine improvement of living standards as they reduce morbidity from diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera and typhoid.