On the 21st March 2020, as the severity of the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic became clearer, a meeting was held in Victoria Falls comprising of public and private stakeholders to discuss the pandemic and the efforts required to begin the preparedness and response of Victoria Falls to the pandemic.
At the meeting, it was resolved by the Hwange District Ministry of Health and Child Care, Acting DMO Dr Fungai Mvura, Hon Godfrey Dube MP Hwange West, various local government bodies, the Municipality and Council of Victoria Falls, local business owners, associations, locally based NGOs and NPOs and concerned citizens that a united group be formed to fight the threat of COVID-19. It was on this day that the Victoria Falls COVID19 Taskforce therefore came into being.
Since the March meeting, the Victoria Falls COVID-19 taskforce has been exemplary in their efforts of preparedness and response to COVID-19, and as a public-private collaboration led by the Hwange District Ministry of Health and Child Care Acting DMO, Dr Fungai Mvura.
In order to work effectively, the Victoria Falls COVID-19 Task Force split into key focal groups vital to support the preparedness and response of Victoria Falls to the pandemic’s impact on the community’s health and livelihoods.
Public Works & Maintenance
Procurement & Logistics
Finance & Resources
Advocacy & Lobbying
Timeline of Events & Achievements
Led by the Hwange District Ministry of Health and Child Care Acting DMO, Dr Fungai Mvura – a meeting is held between government departments, Council and Muncipality, concerned residents and tourism stakeholders to establish an all-inclusive taskforce to develop COVID-19 response and preparedness strategy.
Taskforce members and volunteers split into twelve main focus groups (listed above).
Procedures for Suspected COVID-19 cases and Emergency Response established
Crowdfunding campaign launched to raise funds for necessary activities of the COVID-19 Taskforce
Communications Focal Group begin carrying our community awareness campaigns in urban areas
President Emmerson Mnangagwa announces that starting on Monday, March 30, a nationwide lockdown will be in effect across Zimbabwe for 21 days to prevent further spread of the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Food Security Focal Group begin reaching out to International NGO’s and Organisations for Food Security assistance.
Multi-lingual awareness leaflets printed for wider distribution to urban and rural communities
Community driven mask-making projects begin across the town for mask distributions to underprivileged residents
Digital awareness campaign created and distributed to urban and rural communities around Victoria Falls via whatsapp.
Two Buildings identified for use as isolation centres and quotes for necessary refurbishment / equipping of the centres obtained.
Initial donations of PPE equipment arrive to support medical teams in Victoria Falls.
Monthly fuel donation secured for Rapid Response Team ambulance.
Crowdfunding campaign targeting Food Security launched.
Payment made by COVID-19 taskforce for first ventilator and additional PPE equipment through donations received.
Victoria Falls COVID-19 Hotline established
Identification of critically vulnerable households begins.
Rural awareness outreach campaigns begin.
All border posts are closed, non-essential domestic travel is banned. All shops and services are closed except for essential food service and medical supplies providers.
First delivery of food supplies arrive for impending food security relief efforts.
Soap and disinfectant distributions begin in rural communities
Victoria Falls Municipality begins town disinfection program including border posts, truck stops, all clinics, bus ranks, and supermarkets
Victoria Falls Famine Appeal crowdfunding campaign launched
Refurbishment of first isolation centre completed.
Food pack, soap, sanitiser and mask distributions begin to vulnerable families in the rural communities by Greenline Africa.
Additonal PPE equipment and medical supplies received from Econet Wireless.
Local DJs / Musicians host online fundraising concert.
Telemed Virtual Doctor Consultations set-up with Dr. Jeans
Food Security stocks distributed amongst wards / councilors for onward distribution to vulnerable households within wards.
Masks distributed to council, ZRP and various shops around town.
Tourism stakeholders put forward donations of linen, disinfectants, face masks etc for the Isolation centres.
Disinfection at Ports of Entry including Border Posts and Victoria Falls Airport
Disinfection of main streets and buildings in town.
Disinfection and sanitization of Restaurants and Council offices
Large extractor fan for Victoria Falls Hospital High Care Unit donated and fitted
Food Security Delivered to Victoria Falls Hospital
Isolation Centre 1 equipped with beds and furniture.
Food Hampers distributed to 100 vulnerable urban families.
National COVID-19 Taskforce conduct inspections of the Victoria Falls isolation centres and facilities.
Disinfection and sanitization of Victoria Falls Airport continues.
Food and Soap hampers distributed to vulnerable families in the rural communities.
Two community vegetable sites identified for Food Growing initiatives and Awareness campaign for growing your own vegetables gets underway.
Street santisation using the Zimbabwe Republic Police water canon begins in CBD and markets.
Ongoing distribution of masks to the council and community free of charge.
Sanitation and Comfort kits including sanitizer, masks, awareness leaflets and sanitary products, prepared and handed out to all returning residents required to go into mandatory quarantine in Victoria Falls.
Church Groups deliver clothes, blankets and food hampers to quarantine facilities.
Magazines, DVD player, DVDs, Books etc delivered to the quarantine centre in Victoria Falls to keep returnees entertained.
3 hectares-worth of vegetable seeds distributed to planting sites.
Renovations begin on the Victoria Falls Hospital Intensive Care Unit.
Food hamper distribution to vulnerable families in urban and rural areas continues.
Second large delivery of food supplies received by COVID-19 Taskforce for distribution to vulnerable families.
“Feed Yourself, Feed Your community” campaign launched to encourage the wider community to start their own vegetable growing gardens.
Six Environmental Health Technicians from Victoria Falls travel to Bulawayo to attend the World Health Organisation Rapid Assessment Training course.
Continued distribution of Face Masks across the community.
Zimbabwe Republic Police conduct awareness drive throughout town highlighting safety and security protocols, outlining the COVID hotline numbers and speaking about domestic violence
2,520 masks distributed in urban areas through MasksForAll and Children In the Wilderness.
500 masks distributed in rural communities through Greenline Africa Trust.
197 hygiene and awareness kits distributed to community members with disabilities.
Refurbishment and equipping of second Isolation Centre completed.
Distribution of seedlings, black soil and manure to three urban schools for vegetable growing project.
Distribution of seedlings to rural villages for vegetable growing project.
Municipality and Public Works team up to install the ICU geysers and fix up the laundry at the Victoria Falls Hospital.
Island Hospice conducts psycho-social support training to families and front line healthworkers in Victoria Falls.
The Hindoo Society deliver blankets for the Isolation Centres, Old Age Home, Mummy’s Angels and Rose of Charity orphanage in preparation for Winter.
Two GeneXpert machines in Victoria Falls serviced and reprogrammed to test for COVID19 meaning Victoria Falls will be processing samples locally and will have a quicker turn around on results, which in turn will allow for quicker reaction on suspected cases and contact tracing.
COVID-19 Guidelines and Tourism Protocols released by the Government of Zimbabwe
Intra-district Travel Restrictions lifted allowing for the re-opening of domestic tourism
Franciscan Sisters of Victoria Falls donate food stuffs, and Ilala Lodge donate linen to the COVID-19 Quarantine Centres.
The Makery and Lynne Hogan (USA) donate 500 reusable face shields which will be distributed to rural clinics, Environmental Health Teams and other frontline workers.
Children’s Feeding Program launched by the Victoria Falls Pastors Group with 430 vulnerable children being fed hot meals from two feeding stations.
Two more feeding stations added tot he Children’s Feeding Program, over 1,350 children provided with hot meals.
Children’s Feeding Program gathers momentum, increases capacity to 2,780 meals per day.
14,314 children provided with meals in first week of feeding program.
Children’s Feeding Program reaches capacity of 4,300 meals per day.
Oak Foundation (USA) donate an Amadeo portable digital Xray Machine and an iStat Blood Gas Analyser for use in Victoria Falls Hospital
Jafuta Foundation repairs and provides ongoing maintenance for 10 motorcycles to be used by Ministry of Health in the rural areas surrounding Victoria Falls
3,200 bags of waste collected cumulatively by the Work for Food Program
Children’s Feeding Program surpasses 100,000 meals in under one month!
Rotary Club of Victoria Falls and The Jafuta Foundation collaborate to drill and equip a solar borehole in Sizinda Village.
Children’s Feeding Program surpasses 200,000 meals in first 47 days of operation.
Vice President Chiwenga and Ministry of Health officials tour Zimbabwe’s main airports to assess their readiness for the re-opening of international travel.
Air Zimbabwe resume their passenger service between Harare and Victoria Falls
Zimbabwe opens Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls Airports to International Travel.
FastJet Zimbabwe resumes it’s Harare – Victoria Falls service
Ethiopian Airlines resumes their Addis Ababa – Victoria Falls passenger service
COVID-19 PCR Testing available at Victoria Falls Airport