The family foundation of the founders of Econet, Strive, and Tsitsi Masiyiwa, allocated an additional $ 60 million for the response to cholera in Zimbabwe.
The commitment comes from an initial investment of $ 10 million from Econet Wireless Zimbabwe at the start of the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe in September 2018.
Almost half of the initial investment has been spent so far, and the Masiyiwas are now committing to expand their investment of $ 60 million of their own resources, to be spent over the next 5 years.
Since the outbreak of cholera in 2018 in Zimbabwe, the government has led a massive effort to contain the spread of cholera. The rapid response and decisive leadership of the Ministry of Health was a critical success factor. Through the support of partners such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Masiyiwas Higherlife Foundation, the outbreak of 2018 was relatively more contained, compared to a outbreak of 2008, which allegedly claimed 4,000 lives.
Of the initial investment of $ 10 million, almost half has already been used to rehabilitate critical but depleted sewage infrastructures and obtain emergency supplies to manage the outbreak. An emergency project is already underway to build a large public health emergency operations center – a "situation room" from which the country's Ministry of Health and Childcare can better monitor and respond to a series of disease outbreaks and security threats across the country.
The new funds are intended to build on efforts already under way to support the country in a long-term road map to eliminate water-borne diseases by focusing on catalyzing innovative solutions to the problem of water and sanitation infrastructure.
"Rehabilitating the water and sanitation infrastructure comprehensively will require a heavy load, requiring a few hundred million dollars. We are working to make the investment case with other partners so they join us in this challenge to make the basic right to clean water a reality for all Zimbabweans, "said Ms. Tsitsi Masiyiwa.
"No one should die of Waterborne Diseases" is the ethos of this response to the end of cholera. Masiyiwa said that it is not acceptable that by 2019 people continue to lose their lives because of cholera which, if detected early, can be prevented, controlled and treated.
In Zimbabwe, as in many other developing countries, cholera often manifests itself as a health crisis, but ultimately is a development problem; an underlying indication of critical challenges in municipal service delivery and financing, maintenance and management of waste and sewage treatment facilities, as well as precarious emergency response and surveillance systems.
The Masiyiwas said that part of the $ 60 million would be channeled towards catalyzing innovative public-private partnerships (PPPs) that will lead to creative financial models that can support transitions to sustainable financing of service delivery at the municipal level.
Masiyiwas's $ 60 million commitment supports a broader initiative against cholera, dubbed "End of Cholera Now: The 10-Year Promise." Headed by a multi-sectoral National Task Force on Cholera Elimination with support from the Higherlife Foundation, the 10-year initiative is working to establish a reform agenda and convene a series of strategic PPPs that change the game with the ultimate goal of eliminating cholera in Zimbabwe. 2030
He is also guided by the Cholera Global Road Map to Eliminate Cholera from the World Health Organization by 2030 and by the 2030 Vision of Zimbabwe.
The Masiyiwas philanthropic work is anchored around the transformation of Zimbabwe's socioeconomic narrative, not only to eliminate cholera in Zimbabwe, but also to develop and articulate Zimbabwe in a middle-income country by 2030.
The Higherlife Foundation was founded over 20 years ago as an educational institution and has since been committed to investing in human capital to develop prosperous individuals and communities to build sustainable livelihoods through investments that impact education, health, entrepreneurship , rural transformation and empowerment of women.
In addition to Zimbabwe, the Foundation works to develop the potential of young talented Africans and has operations centers in Lesotho, Burundi and Kenya.