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Zimbabwe: ICRC activities January to March 2007

07-05-2007 Operational Update

With its 11 delegates and 57 national staff, the regional delegation in Harare covers operations in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi and Botswana. The following is an update of ICRC activities for the period January to March 2007.




The ICRC continues to support 16 rural health structures in Matabeleland North, Masvingo and Manicaland with:

  • drugs and medical supplies;

  • training sessions to update the knowledge of health staff on particular problems faced in the districts, for example, malaria prevention.

 Water and habitat  


After receiving an ICRC donation of spare parts, village communities repaired 234 handpumps. The increased number of available handpumps improves access to safe water for villagers, clinics and schools.

Fifteen clinics in the districts of Makoni, Chivi and Tsholotsho are benefiting from the construction of new latrines, temporary burners, brick incinerators and disposal pits. Completion of the projects is expected in the coming months. The ICRC has equipped waste management and sanitation facilities for clinics in Tsholotsho.



 Restoring family links  

In February 2007, the ICRC reunited 11 Congolese children and senior citizens with their families in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

 Over 10,000 Red Cross messages exchanged  

The ICRC, with the cooperation of national Red Cross societies, exchanged more than 10,000 Red Cross messages in the region between relatives separated by armed conflict. These are often the only means of communication available in countries at war and those recovering from conflict.



Since the Caprivi Uprising (1999), the ICRC, in cooperation with the Namibia and Botswana Red Cross Societies, continues to facilitate communication between 16 Namibian inmates and their families in the Francistown Centre for Illegal Immigrants. A support programme has been established to help families from the Caprivi region (Namibia) and Dukwi refugee camp (Botswana) visit their relatives at Francistown.


Promotion of international humanitarian law (IHL) 

The ICRC sensitized 500 youths to humanitarian principles at the Katiyo and Border Gezi national youth service camps in February 2007. Most of the graduates of the camps are destined to join the armed and security forces or the police service.

 Teaching Law of Armed Conflict at the Zimbabwe Staff College  

The law of armed conflict (LOAC) is now a set feature of the Zimbabwe Staff College (ZSC) curriculum. In keeping with this tradition, the ICRC taught the subject for a week at the start of the Junior Staff Course in January 2007.

For senior officers attending the Joint Command Course, the ICRC, together with the College's teaching staff, created a new programme, which places more emphasis on case studies and practical exercises. Fifty-four senior officers from southern Africa participated in the week-long pilot module from 2-5 April. It was hailed as a success by both the participants and the management of ZSC. It will become the set LOAC programme of the Command Course.

 Disseminating IHL knowledge to academic institutions in Southern Africa  

The Zambian National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) held its first course on IHL from 15 January to 28 February 2007. This was made possible with training and teaching materials that NIPA received from the ICRC. At the behest of NIPA, ICRC delegates concluded the course with lectures they delivered over the last three days.