Good hygiene is essential to good health. We aren't able to have the best hygiene considering our limited supply of water and soap, but we make do with what we have. Every week I spend around an hour collecting water from a well nearby with a plastic bucket. This water isn’t very clean. We use this water for showering, washing our hands, washing dishes, washing clothes, cooking and drinking. We also have one bar of soap at a time. We use this same bar for everything including cleaning ourselves and our clothes/dishes. We keep it on a rock outside.
We don’t have a toilet, so we go to the bathroom in the open. We use leaves as toilet paper. This isn't very comfortable or sanitary, but we have no other choice. We are very careful with how much water we use to wash our hands, because we need enough for everything else.
We have one plastic toothbrush my husband and I share. However we don’t have any toothpaste, so we just use a small amount of water and brush.
There is couple hospitals in our town, but only one of them is paid for by the government, free for everyone to use. This hospital is much too far from our house and we don't have a car, so if we ever have a medical emergency, we won't be able to get there fast enough. Our only option is to use things we have around the house to treat the emergency.
We don’t have money to be able to access to the best healthcare, or money for good hygiene. Even with more money our health and hygiene wouldn’t be as good as in the United States, and in Canada. Although we don’t have much money, neither does our country. In Zimbabwe the average life expectancy is about 56 years old, while in Canada and the United states it’s around 80.
Our food is very simple, and often consists of one or two ingredients. We don’t have much of a variety to chose from, just whatever is currently being grown locally. We don’t eat much meat because we can’t afford it. Our meals don’t have a lot of flavour or have much nutrients needed to sustain a long and healthy life. But they do give enough nourishment and energy for our farming job.
We have some plates, cups, and utensils for eating our food. We also have some pots for cooking our meals with. We cook our food outside on an open fire using firewood, which I take about 3 hours collecting every week. We can’t cook inside because we don’t have a steam exit. We also eat outside
Water is a crucial part to every human's life. 20 - 50 litres of water is needed per person a day for drinking, cooking and basic hygiene. Not only is water needed, but CLEAN water. Around two million people die each year because of lack to clean water, and over tens of millions of people are affected with diarrheal diseases due to unsafe water. Most, if not all of these cases were preventable.
In Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, about 60% of the population doesn’t have access to safe drinking water. The rest of the country is in a similar situation of not worse. In Zimbabwe 25% of the population doesn’t have access to any sort of toilet facility, and 44% of the population practice open defecation, which means going to the bathroom in the open. This is very unsanitary and can cause all sorts of infections and diseases.
WASH is a program which stands for, “Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.” It was launched by Unicef with a goal of improving the access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and the promotion of hygiene in poorer countries. For Zimbabwe the WASH program’s plan is to reconstruct thirty piped water facilities in thirty districts in five provinces across Zimbabwe. Along with that they are installing 15 000 latrines in 10 000 communities, 10 000 latrines in primary, and 350 in secondary rural schools. At the end this will give 2.5 million people access safe water and sanitation facilities all year round in Zimbabwe.