Ngangu Township in Chimanimani is on high alert as the area has become a ticking health time bomb where raw sewage has been flowing into a nearby river and open spaces.
Chimanimani District environmental health officer Mr Tranos Mukwakwasha said the town’s water and sewage systems had been destroyed by Cyclone Idai, leaving the residents with limited options for ablution.
He said residents whose houses had not been affected were not aware that their toilets were no longer connected to the main sewer system, hence discharging into the river and open spaces.
“You find that people who were not affected think the system is functional and they are using their toilets, but when they flush, its discharging into open spaces and the river.
“We are now moving door to door, discouraging people from using the water faucets. They can only use them to bath.”
Mr Mukwakwasha said there were plans to dig trench latrines prior to construction of Blair toilets at different points in the town.
“Our staff are going into the location assessing areas where we can put the latrines and Blair toilets,” he said.
“They are also taking water samples from different points, especially from feeding points and other locations for bacteriological analysis.
“This is in Chimanimani urban, but there are other affected areas which we want to assess in terms of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities.”
Mr Mukwakwasha said the water supply had since improved after hose pipes were connected from the water source at the foot of the mountain to Chimanimani Hospital and the five assembly points in the town.
“We are treating water from the tanks as well as at point of use at the assembly points using aqua-tabs and WaterGuard which we are also distributing to every household,” he said.
Mr Mukwakwasha appealed to Government for more environmental health personnel to be able to deal with the crisis.