Chomuzangari Women's Cooperative

Covid 19 in Rural Zimbabwe

Covid 19 took the whole world by surprise, and set all economies on their knees. Millions of Jobs have been lost worldwide. In cities, it seems that the people were hard hit as everything they require has to be paid for, from water, energy, accommodation, food and every service required. Without a job, without a salary, survival is impossible.  For many in urban Africa, the only option would be to join the rural folks, where lives require no daily expenditure.  However, is rural life under the pandemic an easy ride? Not at all. Although at the onset of the virus, Chomuzangari had no coronavirus cases but with movements of people from the city to the rural areas it’s likely to start spreading.  The women in Chomuzangari are geared to make their communities safe. With the financial support from the Welsh government which is managed by WCVA they managed to do the following:

CWC Covid 19 Preparedness and Response

Containment and Mitigation of the virus

It is always to the advantage of every community that learns about a virus from afar. This gives communities ample time to prepare themselves well before the onset of the first case. With the donation from the Welsh government which is managed by WCVA, Chomuzangari women were provided with face masks so that whoever had the virus would not spread it and also whoever did not have the virus would not get it. In rural setting, people visit and check on each other physically. A knew teaching had to be introduced so that if anyone had symptoms no one outside the household should go near. For this reason a WhatsApp group for the community was set up in order to communicate with neighbours, sending each other alerts of any form, from reporting the arrival of a visitor from the city to sharing information about symptoms that a member may have.

Food Distribution

Chomuzangari  community, like any other rural community, relies mostly from the help that relatives working in the city provides . Covid 19, with its lockdown measures posed a great threat to food supply as this meant that the usual movements from the city to the villages were cut off. Funding from WCVA helped Chomuzangari Women’s Cooperative to partner with Manzanga Millers and supplied the entire community with food enough to last them, at least, until the government of Zimbabwe had mobilised relief for its own people. Our heartfelt thanks goes to the Welsh Government for all the help they provided for us in this time of great need.

Food distribution was done according to the size of each family. Some received 50kg while others received 20kg of the staple food, that is white maize mealie meal.

Borehole Drilling

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The CWC Project Coordinator took his time to educate the women as to why a second borehole was needed. The was in response to the challenges posed by Covid 19 based on WHO guidelines. First and foremost, the guidelines from WHO are for everyone to wash hands with soap at all times. The women in Chomuzangari saw the need for a borehole to be drilled so as to supply as many people as possible with enough water for hand washing as a means for infection prevention. Again the donation from the Welsh government which is managed by WCVA covered this vital work.
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We remain indebted to the Welsh government’s WCVA for their generous sponsorship of a second borehole. CWC are already growing more vegetables and more variety. This flouring garden will be supplying the villagers with courgettes

This is a tomato field. As you can see they are well watered. Tomatoes are doing very well for Chomuzangari women and are proud to show the world what they are doing. Much appreciation to the WCVA. Below is a photo of the evergreen vegetable garden because of the water supply.

Solar Powered Water Supply

The need to get water for washing hands for their entire community at a speed that allows everyone to get a chance of fillimg up their buckets caused Chomuzangari Women’ss Coorperative to partner with a Solar Power company. They installed solar panels and in no time the community was drawing water with easy. The vegetable garden will also be irrigated faster as a result of this initiative. Again our appreciation goes to WCVA for that funding that made this work possible.
Here the Solar Power company personnel explain to the village Headman how the solar panels receive energy from the sun and the process it takes to pump out the water. Because of social distancing and restrictions on crowds, villagers had to take turns to witness the work of borehole drilling and solar power installations.

Water Networks

Once the solar pump was installed the women in Chomuzangari dug trenches around the villages so that water could come nearer them. It was a big effort on their part to make sure that they help in one way or the other. Life has never been easier for Chomuzangari women having water close to their homesteads like this. A big thank you goes to the Welsh Government for making this possible.
Chomuzangari Women’s Cooperative efforts of growing vegetables for their families will no longer be hampered by Covid 19. They can now continue to work and help other communities too. 
The water networks reach as far as their vegetable gardens. Not only is it easier for people but for domestic animals as well. Boys can fill up troughs with water for the animals


Ilanga Foods provided CWC with bags of mealie meal

18 Market Rd Kelvin North
263 Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
+263 77 792 3150
Smart Livers Solar Engineering provided CWC with Solar Pump
No. 15 Unit G
+263 77 225 8430
Pote Borehole Drilling is the company that sunk Chomuzangari borehole
OFFICE: +263 39 235 2821