Zimbabwe Integrated Community Development Program

by | Mar 27, 2024 | Caritas

Case study: Mrs Cecilia Zabi

Mrs Cecilia Zabi is aged 75 years and lives in Makwandara village of Makwandara ward in Hwange district, Zimbabwe. She is a member of the Zimbabwe Integrated Community Development Program (ZICDP) being implemented by CARITAS Hwange, in partnership with CARITAS Australia. The objectives of the program are;

  • Objective 1: To improve the capacity of 3050 people to increase food security , nutrition and income in Makwandara, Gurambira, Ndumichenga and Kamativi Village 22 Villages in Hwange District by year 2025.
  • Objective 2: To improve access to clean safe water and sanitation for 4,900 people in Makwandara, Gurambira, Village 22 and Ndumichenga villages in Hwange district by June 2025.
  • Objective 3: To develop a positive culture that recognises the complimentary gender roles of women and men on 2,810 people in Makwandara, Gurambira, Village 22 and Ndumichenga villages in Hwange district by June 2025.
  • Objective 4: To improve protection of 1568 children in Makwandara, Gurambira, Village 22 and Ndumichenga villages in Hwange district by June 2025.

The ZICDP is a 3 year program which started in July 2022 and is scheduled to end in June 2025. The program is now in its second year. This project seeks to address the most critical challenges faced by the most vulnerable communities of Hwange district, namely, food and income insecurity, water and sanitation challenges, gender disparities and the insecurity of children. Before the program, the community of Makwandara village, including Mrs Zabi, walked close to 3km to collect water. They ran the risk of being attacked by wild animals as they woke up very early in the morning to collect water. They also ran the risk of contracting diarrheal diseases as they did not have enough water to clear the environs.

The other challenge which was faced by the community of Makwandara village was food shortage. The community did not have gardens to supplement food requirements and sell vegetables to raise income. In addition, the existing dip-tank in the village was dilapidated to the point that cattle could not use it for dipping sessions.

The sanitation coverage in the village was as low as 8%. Mrs Zabi was one of the community members who did not have a toilet and used the bush to relieve herself. Cases of diarrheal diseases were very common in the village.

The ZICDP therefore intends to improve the capacity of vulnerable and marginalized people to increase food security, nutrition and income, improve access to clean and safe water and sanitation, develop a positive culture that recognises the complimentary gender roles of women and men and improve protection of children. The most poor and vulnerable including men, women, girls, boys, the elderly, orphans and vulnerable children and people living with disabilities will experience positive change as a result of the program.

In order to bring about this change, the following key activities are being done

  • Establishment of nutrition gardens and provision of starter packs to farmers.
  • Conservation farming trainings.
  • Formation and training of ISALs groups.
  • Construction and rehabilitation of dip tanks
  • Piggery, rabbit and poultry projects
  • Drilling, rehabilitation and solarisation of boreholes.
  • Construction of household and institutional latrine toilets.
  • Dam construction and rehabilitation
  • Gender awareness trainings for the community.
  • Gender trainings for traditional leaders,
  • Child protection

Mrs Zabi was selected for this case study because she has benefitted from the program in an integrated manner. She is benefitting from the borehole which was solarised by CARITAS Hwange at Makwandara DDF compound. She now collects water from the water tap at any given time she wishes to, without walking long distances, The tap is 450m away from her home.  

Mrs Zabi is also a member of the nutrition garden whose water source is the solarised borehole. She grows vegetables which she consumes and sells at the nearby Makwandara clinic and secondary school. In November 2023, she generated US$70 which she used to buy food.  

In addition, Mrs Zabi keeps 6 heads of cattle which use the dip tank which was rehabilitated by CARITAS Hwange, Her cattle is healthy and is able to collect milk from the cows, She sells some of the milk.

Mrs Zabi is a beneficiary of a latrine toilet which is currently being built by builders trained by CARITAS Hwange. She has received trainings on PHHE, Gender and child protection.

Mrs Zabi joined the program in September 2022. She became a beneficiary by virtue of being a resident of Makwandara village and being closer to project sites with project implemented by CARITAS Hwange, She was also selected as a beneficiary of a latrine toilet and a member of a nutrition garden because she was considered by the community as very vulnerable.

Human dignity

The dignity of Mrs Zabi has been enhanced, especially by the construction of the latrine toilet and provision of clean and safe water. Mrs Zabi and her family no longer use the bush to relieve themselves.

The common good

Mrs Zabi and her colleagues work together at the garden. In her absence, other members help Mrs Zabi to water her garden. She does the same for others. Whenever there is need to repair the water facility, Mrs Zabi and her colleagues contribute money towards repairing the facility.

Subsidiarity and Participation

Mrs Zabi fully participated in all the projects in her area. She participated by preparing meals for the contractors during the installation of the solar panels at the borehole. She also participated during the clearing of land for the establishment of the garden. She was appointed a member of the garden committee where she played the big part in influencing decisions at the garden.


Mrs Zabi was assisted by her neighbour in the digging of the latrine pit. At the garden, other garden members assist Mrs Zabi with watering her garden whenever she is absent.

Preferential Option for the poor

Mrs Zabi was considered one of the poorest members of the community at Makwandara. She is a widow and struggles to feed her family.

Economic justice

The program has enabled Mrs Zabi and other members of the community to participate in economic activities such as growing and selling vegetables, generating income to buy food. The rehabilitation of the dip-tank has contributed towards improving the quality of cattle which sells at market prices.

Promotion of peace

There has been a lot of collaboration between CARITAS Hwange and government stakeholders. Agritex has been involved in the training of farmers. The Vet department assisted the community in the rehabilitation of the dip tank as well as conducting the dipping sessions fortnightly. DDF was involved in the solarisation of the borehole