Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 provides for clean water and Sanitation. One of the targets of the SDG is to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030. As part of making positive contributions towards this SDG, Heal Zimbabwe partner, Amakhosi Media, a Women’s Media for Development news platform operating in Bulawayo has made strides in ensuring better service delivery in Bulawayo.
Through the use of online social media platforms and news articles, the organisation has been working with women from Bulawayo by facilitating platforms where women engage with their duty bearers on issues that affect them. During the dialogues women share their personal experiences and how poor service delivery and other policy issues have impacted their communities. These dialogues are meant to stir debate that will eventually influence policy change and promote gender sensitive service delivery.
Following a realisation that residents in Sidojiwe Hostels situated in Makokoba suburb were being neglected and side lined by Bulawayo City Council as their residential area housing over 600 people had no running water and functioning sewer system, Amakhosikazi Media with assistance from Heal Zimbabwe worked on a documentary on the dire situation at the hostels. The documentary provided an in-depth narrative on the plight and challenges of people living in Sidojiwe Hostels and how issues of lack of running water and adequate sanitation provided a ticking time bomb especially during the COVID 19 pandemic. Following the release of the documentary on the 11th of August 2020, The Chronicle Bulawayo’s daily newspaper, on 21 August had the story “Sidojiwe Hostels: A Covid-19 time bomb” on its front page, giving the story more prominence and salience. The documentary afforded the people from the hostels to share their plight with the rest of the world. Giving the story such prominence in the media showed the impact that water and sanitation have on people’s lives.
Following the release of the documentary, the organisation followed up by creating various WhatsApp platforms for residents at the hostels where women constantly engage duty bearers on social services delivery issues and other related issues. These platforms have strengthened the resolve of women as rights holders and improved their participation in social service delivery issues. These platforms have also helped trigger some level of agency among women as they are coming up with solutions to their identified problems.
The intervention by Amakhosi Media is one among many interventions by Heal Zimbabwe that facilitate for local level conversations on pertinent issues affecting communities. Such interventions help build peaceful and socially cohesive communities.
Source: Heal Zimbabwe