The rural water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) National Action Committee (NAC) has moved to improve information flow on water and sanitation points from grassroots to national level.

The Rural WASH Information Management Systems (RWIMS) platform which provides data on water points in Mashonaland Central Province has been effectively utilised, prompting the NAC to engage the province and local councils to ensure the system is functional.

The system is used to monitor functionality of boreholes and update on water provision at household level, schools, health institutions and communal points for transmission to policy makers and decision makers in government.

District Development Fund Director for water supplies Mr Edwin Toriro said information flow is currently uncoordinated, leaving water challenges unaddressed.

“Various line ministries and external support agencies are doing their best but we want to do away with that silo mentality which obtains on the ground and have a coordinated approach to information flow,” said Mr Toriro

Mashonaland Central provincial development coordinator Mr Cosmas Chiringa said effective use of the system will help address water scarcity in the dry parts of the province.

“There are some gaps that we need to address. Water availability is not all that good in areas like Rushinga, Mbire, Mt Darwin, Muzarabani but this RWIMS will assist us on the number of boreholes we have so that we can come up with strategic interventions. From the data presented we have also noted that on sanitation and hygiene we are lagging behind and we need to educate local leaders and communities. It is common knowledge if there is no good health, development cannot take place,” said Mr Chiringa.

RWIMS was introduced last year but the NAC is having challenges in data capturing and having it automated at national level.

A centralised geographic database in Harare hosts data which is supplied by extension workers from different wards.