Govt issues cholera, typhoid alert

 Dr David Parirenyatwa

Dr David Parirenyatwa

Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter

ERRATIC water supply in Harare and other cities poses a serious danger of an outbreak of water-borne diseases, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said yesterday as he issued a cholera and typhoid alert.Harare has confirmed 60 cases of typhoid so far.

The National Microbiology Reference Laboratory has also confirmed three typhoid cases in Mutare and Masvingo.

Harare City Council recently introduced a five-day water rationing schedule, forcing residents to turn to the bush.

Some are digging shallow wells because taps are dry.

“This is an emergency because once you do not have enough water, it impacts on sanitation and once you have poor sanitation you are already inviting water-borne diseases,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.

He warned of a potential outbreak of diseases like cholera and typhoid.

“The impact might not be serious now, but when it rains and there are flash floods, all this dirt will be washed away into shallow and unprotected water sources. This is when you see an increase in water-borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera and diarrhoea.”

He said his ministry engaged experts from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate to try and find workable solutions.

Dr Parirenyatwa said they were told that drilling boreholes was not a solution.

“I understand from the Ministry of Water that if we continue to sink more boreholes, the water table is also depleted even more. We just hope that there would be rains soon and when we finally receive the rains, please do not drink water from shallow wells and treat water from unprotected sources at the point of use,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.

He said Government was on high alert and health teams have been activated

“We are very alert. We want our people to know that now is the time to be very careful of the water they drink otherwise we will have a severe outbreak of typhoid, cholera or diarrhoea.

“Our people must also be very alert as much as possible. If the water is suspicious let us boil it at the point of use,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.

According to Harare’s rationing schedule, middle and low-density suburbs are enduring up to five days a week without water.

Supplies to Chitungwiza have also been reduced from 27 to 15 mega litres a day.

This has worsened the already bad situation in the dormitory town.

Residential areas like Mbare, Highfield and Ardbennie have been spared of water rationing due to their proximity to industrial areas.

Western suburbs such as Glen Norah, Glen View, Budiriro, Mufakose and Dzivarasekwa are receiving water supplies during the week only.

Northern suburbs are the worst affected due to their distance from the source of water (Morton Jaffray) and northern suburbs like Mabelreign, Marlborough, Mt Pleasant and Hatcliffe will only receive water two days a week.

According to council, rationing would run until the end of November.

It is subject to review in December.

Water rationing was necessitated by reduced water levels at Lake Chivero, Harava and Seke dams.

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  • mpengo

    You’re issuing a cholera & typhoid alert yet at the same time you’ve authorised PREPAID WATER METERS?

    Are you seriously that dumb?!

    Where is your voice exactly when such decisions are made? Is it your job to only respond to crises?

    You have made it even worse.

    You are a member of the United Nations. By that virtue you endorse, ascribe and ratify all matters pertaining to such things as life and health.

    In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared access to water as a human right in a landmark resolution. “Everyone has the right to water, no matter where he/she lives”

    Yet you are commercialising its access by allowing prepaid water meters.

    You have drawn us back to the age of water born diseases.

  • mpengo

    Clearly you’re not getting it. Are you even sure what the word infringement is and where it applies…?

    Never mind that…Even the essence of the right to water and the global fight & drive to promote it as a universal right to access the sustaining substance, is something beyond your line of thinking.

    I advise you to read on the ages-long GLOBAL debate on the issue.

    The moment you talk, free and money…you are lost to the issue

    • Albert Mtasa

      A right is not provided for free bhururu

  • Musekwa

    I’m surprised to see you’re letting chicken slice chinhoyi st.chicken inn Julius nyerere operating without toilets just go there now and ask for toilet they say no water .what is this who is responsible for this .and you’re still giving them operator’s license without toilets please let’s be serious.