Challenges and Threats to the Sustainability of Sanitation Programs and the Role of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Sanitation Programs in Chivi, Zimbabwe Open Access

Maramba, Tsungirirai (Spring 2022)

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The goal of this thesis is to identify threats or challenges to the sustainability of sanitation programs, and the role of gender equality and women empowerment in sanitation in Chivi, Zimbabwe. Chivi District is found in Masvingo province of Zimbabwe. Chivi is a rural district inhabited by subsistence farmers whose source of income is farming. Households in Chivi that do not have toilets on their homesteads resort to open defecation. Open defecation hinders the sustainability of sanitation programs implemented by CARE International, government, and other agencies. CARE implemented the Chivi WASH Project (CWP), in ten wards of Chivi District from 2014 to 2017. In 2021, CARE USA and CARE Zimbabwe carried out Key Informant Interviews (KII) of an end-line evaluation of the 2014 to 2017 Chivi WASH Project. The interviews were semi-structured paper-based questions. For the purpose of this thesis, responses from three stakeholder groups were chosen for analysis: 3 District Officials (DO), 7 Sanitation Action Groups (SAG), and 28 Village Heads (VH). A thematic analysis was used for analysis of their open-ended responses to questions on sanitation and women’s empowerment. The results were grouped into themes, and common themes among the stakeholders were used for analysis. The results observed were that collapsed toilets, lack of sanitation education, lack of resources, and households without toilets, were the threats or challenges to sustainability of sanitation programs. The results also demonstrated that, leadership was found to be a role that promotes women empowerment in Chivi, Zimbabwe. By completing this thesis, CARE International can use these results in other communities in Zimbabwe or other countries in the African region to design sustainable WASH interventions by looking at the lessons learned from Chivi District. What caused the slippage from open defecation free status to open defecation status? What caused the success story? If the villages managed to sustain their sanitation programs and remain an open defecation free village. How to capitalize on problems in Chivi and create a solution for other communities in Zimbabwe or the African region?

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Literature Review-----------------------------------------------------------------------------1

1.1 Global Rural and Urban Sanitation Disparities-------------------------------------------------------2

1.2 Global Challenges and Successes of Sanitation Coverage------------------------------------------3

1.3 Women, Girls, and Lack of Access to Toilets--------------------------------------------------------5

1.4 Zimbabwe Sanitation Overview------------------------------------------------------------------------5

1.5 Zimbabwe Rural and Urban Sanitation Disparities--------------------------------------------------6

1.6 Challenges and Successes of Sanitation Coverage in Zimbabwe----------------------------------8

1.7 Sanitation Overview of Chivi District, Zimbabwe-------------------------------------------------- 9

1.8 Successes of Sanitation Coverage in Chivi District------------------------------------------------10

1.9 Women and Sanitation in Chivi---------------------------------------------------------------------- 11

1.10         Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Zimbabwe---------------------------------- 11

1.11         Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Chivi District, Zimbabwe---------------- 13

1.12         Challenges of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Chivi District------------- 13

1.13         Successes of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Chivi District-------------- 14

1.14         Need, Goal, and Aims Statement---------------------------------------------------------------- 14

1.15         Significance----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 16

1.16         Significance to CARE International------------------------------------------------------------- 16

1.17         Significance to Government of Zimbabwe----------------------------------------------------- 17


Chapter 2. Methods---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------18

2.1 Background----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------18

2.2 Study Design-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 19

2.3 Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria--------------------------------------------------------------------- 19

2.4 Data Collection----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 20

2.5 Sampling Methodology--------------------------------------------------------------------------------20

2.6 Thesis Methodology----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 21

2.7 Stage 1: Identifying Key Informant Interviews-----------------------------------------------------21

2.8 Stage 2: Identifying Relevant Questions------------------------------------------------------------ 21

2.9 Stage 3: Coding of Themes----------------------------------------------------------------------------21

2.10: Stage 4: Creating the Theme Dictionary----------------------------------------------------------22


Chapter 3. Analysis and Results------------------------------------------------------------------------25

3.1 Threats to Toilet Usage--------------------------------------------------------------------------------25

3.2 Threats to Reduction of OD---------------------------------------------------------------------------27

3.3 Challenges with Village’s Failure of Reaching ODF Status--------------------------------------28

3.4 Challenges with Village’s Failure of Maintaining ODF Status-----------------------------------29

3.5 Perception of Stakeholders about Challenges to OD Reduction----------------------------------31

3.6 Promotion of Gender Equality in Sanitation Programs--------------------------------------------33

3.7 Role of Women Empowerment in Sanitation Programs-------------------------------------------34


Chapter 4. Discussion-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------36

4.1: Introduction---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------36

4.2: Threats to sustainability of sanitation programs: Collapsed Toilets-----------------------------37

4.3: Threats to sustainability of sanitation programs: Lack of Sanitation Education---------------38

4.4: Threats to sustainability of sanitation programs: Lack of Resources----------------------------39

4.5: Threats to sustainability of sanitation programs: Households without Toilets-----------------40

4.6: Role of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Sanitation-----------------------------40

4.7: Strengths-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------42

4.8: Limitations----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------42

4.9: Public Health Implications----------------------------------------------------------------------------43

4.10: Conclusion---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------43


Appendix A: IRB Approval Not Required

           Table 1: Threats to Toilet Usage-----------------------------------------------------------------26

           Table 2: Threats to Reduction of OD------------------------------------------------------------27

           Table 3: Challenges with Village’s Failure of Reaching ODF Status-----------------------28

           Table 4: Challenges with Village’s Failure of Maintaining ODF Status--------------------30

           Table 5: Perception of Stakeholders about Challenges to OD Reduction-------------------32

           Table 6: Promotion of Gender Equality in Sanitation Programs-----------------------------34

           Table 7: Role of Women Empowerment in Sanitation Programs----------------------------35

           Table 8: Common Themes from Stakeholders in each Table and Across Tables----------36  

Table A: Zimbabwe Rural and Urban Sanitation Coverage------------------------------------7

Table B: CARE Australia Chivi WASH Project at Baseline and End-line (2014-2017)-10

Table C: Chivi WASH Impact Evaluation Results (2014-2017) ----------------------------19

Table D: Theme Dictionary-----------------------------------------------------------------------23

Figure A: Map of Chivi District--------------------------------------------------------------------9



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