Igusi Community Water
We went into Igusi to continue the work father JB Dondolo said was unfinished. That was to refurbish Igusi Clinic by extending the maternity wing to have more delivery and recovery beds and restore the structure of the clinic. However, we discovered the critical need for clean water. So, provision of water had to come first.
In Igusi, people complained of the water tasting salty. Also, at Igusi Clinic’s water tested salty and smelled bad. It was undrinkable and caused illnesses, especially in mothers-in-waiting aka pregnant women, infants, and youth. The clinic shares the same water line as the secondary school a few kilometers away. This means school children were also impacted; they did not have safe drinking water. Every source of water had the same issue. Lack of water resulted in dry toilets, poor sanitation, therefore, hygiene issues. Igusi Clinic is the only healthcare facility in a growing community of settlers amounting to 20,000+.
Solution and Approach
To solve this problem, we installed a water filtration system and “intentionally placed it within the clinic” to allow the clinic and school to continue sharing the pipeline. This effort saved both parties unhygienic living conditions. Water is available to all patients. Mothers are able to carry babies full-term, infant mortality is resolved.
Water filtration system installed by JB Dondolo in Igusi Clinic and school, Zimbabwe
We implemented a scientific approach to install the water filtration system. We worked with value partner NUST, a science and technology institution who collected samples, tested for quality and suggested a solution. This provided us with information on whether to dig, restore reservoirs, or install above-ground water systems. This approach prevented us from guessing the presence and quality of water and prevented assumptions of community preferences.
After installation of the filtration system, we sent in NUST to periodically test the quality of the water. NUST confirmed that the water quality meets the standard and is safe for consumption. We are currently developing a sensing system that regularly checks the quality of the water over time and also collects data in real-time. This will enable us to be proactive and respond faster to any problems before they occur.
One of our Partners, Science and Technology institution (NUST) located in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
NUST Technician at a project site, collecting and water samples for testing in the lab
NUST Technician testing sand samples collected in the lab
Between 2017 and 2019, to continue my late father’s legacy of refurbishing the Igusi Clinic, I installed a water filtration system that serves an extended community of 20,000+ people in Igusi situated in a rural community in Zimbabwe. We worked with National University of Science and Technology (NUST) to collect water and sand samples to test in the lab (before-and-after) the installation. This singular effort reduced infant mortality to zero, increased school attendance by girls to 100% as girls now go to school even during menstruation. It also restored women’s dignity.
Igusi Clinic and students from the Community school pose in front of the filtration system just installed for them by JB Dondolo.
Igusi Clinic, Zimbabwe expecting mothers pose in front of the new water filtration system.
For this effort, our founder Lumbie Mlambo was awarded a United Nation Global-Leadership Award for my work on SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. We also submitted our observations manuscript to H2O: Water and Gender journal.
Lumbie Mlambo, CEO of JB Dondolo, accepts the UN Global Leadership Award presented by UNA-Dallas Chapter.
We also refurbished Igusi Clinic. We painted walls, fixed the roofing, installed new windows and doors, fixed the cracks on walls and floors, installed a stove and sink in the kitchen, refurbished nurses’ cottages, fenced the property and added location signs to make it easy for people to find.
- Improve sanitaon in Igusi Clinic, Zimbabwe to ensure sustainable development.
- Install one solar-powered borehole to ensure safe drinking water and sustainable irrigation, farming, and gardening. This would benefit 20,000+ people directly and indirectly.
- Digitize water systems for easier monitoring and data analysis.
- Short term: Periodically test for water quality.
- Long-term: Develop a sensing system that regularly checks the quality of the water over time and also collects data in real-time. This will enable us to be proactive and respond faster to any problems before they occur.