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WODOZIVA(wipe out deficiency of zinc iron and vitamin A)

Contribute to combat malnutrition a major challenge to reproductive health and Increased child mortality in crisis situation

Photo of Simba Makuvaza
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What specific problem(s) are you trying to address?

Prevalence of underweight at 10% according ZDHS 2014/15 and the Micronutrient Survey of 2015 and not meeting the target of reducing it by half. Iron deficiency anemia prevalent affecting health of pregnant women, lactating women and child growth. In 2014, 32% of children below five years were found stunted (ZDHS, 2014/15). Prevalence of stunting (of 30% on average, 33% in male children and above 40% in some districts) remains high ,social and economic consequences estimated 161,105 children die before their fifth birthday (under-five mortality according to UNICEF. Micronutrient deficiency affects 19% of under-fives, 25% of children living with HIV, 23% of women (15-49 years of age) and 27% of rural women

What are some of your unanswered questions about the problem(s) you are working to address?

The causes of malnutrition are easy to connect in districts which are prone to drought could be attributed to food insecurity, However the challenge that remains is on how to find a sustainable solution for drought prone areas that is not food Aid which comes in a little late when people are already in deep food crisis.

Explain Your Idea

WODOZIVA(Wipe out Deficiency Zinc, Iron and Vitamin A in crisis situation is an idea prompted by prevalence of malnutrition and related child deaths and reproductive health problems tailored to transfer survival skills that address deficiency of essential micronutrients Zinc, Iron and Vitamin A. It has been identified that a good number of districts in zimbabwe face good harvest for example Gokwe south however the same district face the scourge of nutritious food insecurity postharvest attributed to serious food losses in the peak season and postharvest food losses. In Areas with good harvest food insecurity is attributed to Food losses, fruit losses and waste are mainly connected to lack of conservation management , managerial and technical limitations in preservation , harvesting techniques and storage and the WODOZIVA idea intervene to address the above challenge through Training of village health workers that train women and men on Constructing solar driers to dry, preserve and store food rich in micronutrients in oversupply in the peak season to prevent waste and losses of nutritious food preparing for postharvest food security, distribute of nutrition information and education material on malnutrition and benefits of dried food such as dried fruits, pumpkin seeds and vegetables to reduce micronutrients deficiency and Address malnutrition problems such as stunting, low weight highlighted in the problems. Further campaigns are done for micronutrients fortified food Aid.

Name the three most important ways that your idea will address your identified problem(s).

1. The Idea address nutritious food insecurity with methods and solutions that optimise use of ready available food in a given community. In the peak-season fresh food is in oversupply and wasted the idea brings in the technology that is cheap made of re-purposed recycled local material to construct solar driers that increase efficiency of food drying safely preserving micronutrients. 2.Life adaptive skills are transferred to individuals and it becomes a legacy for the community to cope with the scourge of malnutrition related reproductive health and child mortality problems using available solutions. 3. Project help the community make informed decisions on nutrition matters and advocate for micronutrients Focused Food Aid in a drought.

How is your idea unique?

The idea stands out in that primarily it finds local solutions to solve local problems in simple possible ways. The community are engaged and central to devising responses to malnutrition based on coping mechanisms that are built on what they locally already have. The idea is perfectly suited to address the root problem of malnutrition and it is not mere transfer of the idea to the community but it is modeled through participatory community engagement. Ownership of the projects and processes duly return to the communities not only as beneficiaries but owners in developing the sustainable coping mechanisms to relief food shortage and insecurity. The idea seeks to reduce food Aid dependence and if possible eliminate it as communities become equipped with means to optimise use of the available food and fruits with nothing going to worst. Good nutrition stands out to address malnutrition related deaths and reproductive health problems. Hugely solar energy is used for drying a free resource

What are some outstanding concerns or questions that you have regarding your idea?

The major concern is on how to overcome the inevitable drought related food insecurity especially in areas that are prone to drought to achieve community self sustenance. Irrigation schemes will be vital but high cost of setting up equipment and construction of dams remains a serious challenge. Improved water collection systems have been tried but they run dry due to little rain.

Who are your end users?

Main end users include Primarily women and children that are susceptible to malnutrition and are or are already living malnourished, people living with HIV/AIDS, people living with disabilities, village health workers (community mobilisers) directly and families indirectly will have contact with the project activities as practices will be shared widely at community level through community models. Primarily coping mechanism and life skills to prevent nutrition Food losses transferred and community will have capacity to fight malnutrition, low birth weight, stunting and malnutrition related deaths reduces to minimum WHO accepted standards. Over 1000 beneficiaries to be reached In Gokwe South Zimbabwe and further scaled up to other districts

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Zimbabwe

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Extreme drought
  • Community at risk of disaster
  • Other

Tell us more about the emergency setting that you intend to implement in

Gokwe south is a rural setting leaving in the margins of poverty, Secondary Education completion rate 50% and Unemployment is estimated 95% . Road networks in much parts of the area are dusty difficult to travel in rain seasons. Communal farming area composed of approximately (48% male/53% female). The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is significant at around 15%. High prevalence of stunting in children under-five years of age a top challenge.The area has been susceptible to Cholera and drought.

What is your organization's name?

Nutrigain Trust

Tell us more about you.

The Nutrigain Trust is a registered Organisation within the confines of the Zimbabwean Law.The Trust works with associate nutritionists, research students in nutrition and food science and food scientist on voluntary basis who contribute to nutrition programs and response design. Beginning 2017, the Nutrigain has engaged into direct solicitation of funds to strengthen its direct impact health and nutrition projects based on identified need. Nutrigain Trust was founded by Simbarashe Makuvaza and Itai Chipadze. The day to day operations remain in the control of Simbarashe Makuvaza: (Project management and Accounting Expert) Head of Projects, Joe Mukwidigwi a Post-Harvest technology expert and associate

Organizational Characteristics

  • Youth-led organization

What is the current scale of your proposed innovation?

  • Community - 1+ communities within 1 country

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • Yes, for more than a year.

Organization Location

The organisation is located in Harare

What is your organizational status?

  • Registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

What is the maturity of your innovation?

  • Existing Prototype or Pilot: Tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Simba, thanks for sharing the work you are doing! Would love to hear more about your initial prototypes/pilot. For example, how many people did you test/prototype/pilot with? What worked? What didn't? What did you learn for future iterations?

Looking forward to learning more!

Photo of Simba Makuvaza

Hello Thank you for the enquiry. Preservation of agricultural produce is one of the critical problem and an emergency crisis faced by the community in our pilot focus group which consequently results in food losses, food insecurity post-harvest and contributes to malnutrition a serious challenge for women of reproductive age and children who have special quality dietary needs. The focus group for the pilot was 20 women that included 3 village health workers. The pilot sought to compare the effectiveness of enclosed solar dryers to the traditional open air drying and focus was on identifying the best drying method for fruits, vegetables and pumpkin seeds and other field fresh produce. On the pilot focus was on drying mango fruit, pumpkin leaf vegetables and Pumpkin seeds because on their dietary micronutrients benefits.
Lessons learnt on each method
Open-air or unimproved drying
Traditional drying was done with mango fruit, vegetables and Pumpkin seeds spread on plastics and newspapers on the ground in the open air, the most widespread method used in the community because it is the simplest and cheapest method of conserving foodstuffs. Some disadvantages of open air drying noted are: It requires both large amount of space and long drying time that meant less food could be dried in a long period of time. The lengthy drying time required more labour and resulted in serious food losses as most of the available excess food will rot as they could not dry it in time. Essential micronutrients were lost due to exposure to direct sun and resulted in nutritious food insecurity. The food being dried got damaged because of uncontrolled drying and hostile weather conditions, infestation by insects and attack by animals. At some point goats ate most of the food being dried because the person attending to the food being dried had just left it unattended for 30 minutes, so in essence someone has to be physically present during the drying time or move the food into the house temporarily if not present. This lead to slow drying rate, contamination and poor quality of dried products, because of the above mentioned factors of open sun drying process and a better understanding of the method of utilizing solar energy to advantage, we then tried modernised solar drying.

Enclosed Solar drying method
3 solar driers were constructed using local material that was repurposed with good air conditioning and not direct to sunlight, the mechanism was cheap and it was agreed that each household could afford to construct a solar dryer using the repurposed local material. The solar drier was used to dry mango fruit, vegetables and Pumpkin seeds spread and the quantity of food to be dried was increased by four times within a reduced drying time. The temperature in the drier is raised due to the greenhouse effect and the air exchange is regulated by vents. The food was not exposed to direct sunlight in indirect sun driers as the fresh air is heated separately from the food. Solar dryers prevent contamination of produce by dust, insects, etc., thereby ensuring quality. They allow small-scale farmers to transform their harvest into storable and tradable goods, which they can sell off-season at higher prices. The constant temperature and ventilation allows a consistent drying process which results in better product quality and higher prices. Micro-nutrients were preserved and food was not damaged since weather conditions were controlled with the dryer. More quality food was dried within a short space of time. The solar dryer are enclosed that prevent food from attack and being ate by animals even in the absence of anyone attending to the dryer for sometime.
It took 3-5 days to dry food using the solar dryers compared to over 3 weeks using the open air drying method.
Going into the future the Enclosed solar drying method is effective and efficient it can be scaled on a large scale and it’s a best practice that can be repeated and adopted in communities facing preservation and food losses challenge in Zimbabwe and Africa focused. It will go in a long way to help in quality nutritious food security and meet the dietary micronutrients need for women of reproductive age and children preventing emergency food crisis.

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Thanks Simba for this helpful information. I had one more question, how to you measure and define success of this work?

Also is this your website?

Photo of Simba Makuvaza

Success of the project is measured by availability of micronutrients dense food in the period September to November which traditionally has had serious food shortages attributed to food losses. Increased stocks and access to dried micronutrients dense food available in September to November and hence losses prevented by using the enclosed modern solar drier method compared to Lack and no access of dried nutritious Food in the previous years were the ineffective traditional direct open sunlight drying method was used is primarily a success measure. Statistics of children under the age of 5 years old facing problem of underweight are collected at the beginning of the project, The children are monitored and measured for weight in September to November and they should have gained weight have normal weight compared to previous periods to show success.

Photo of Simba Makuvaza

oh yes that is our website not so up to date

Photo of Simba Makuvaza

Thank you for the contribution looking more to hear from you