Between October 24 and November 20, Harare recorded over 1100 cases of diarrhoea. Authorities blamed the city’s failure to supply clean running water, collect garbage, and repair ruptured sewer lines.
Harare City Council head of health services Dr. Prosper Chonzi said most instances are in high-density suburbs with inadequate water supplies.
If diarrhoea patients aren’t managed appropriately, cholera epidemics in Malawi and Mozambique could move to Zimbabwe, he said.
We record 250-270 diarrhoea cases per week, he said.
We recorded 1,115 cases from Oct. 24 to Nov. 20. We report 5-6 typhoid cases per week.
“These situations are mostly in high-density suburbs with limited water, no trash collection, and sewage breaches.”
Dr. Chonzi claimed the city’s health department had improved its disease surveillance system by following up on suspected cases and tracing contacts.
All of our clinics are testing for diarrhoea and delivering free treatment.
“We’ve alerted our rapid reaction team, are vigilant, and are tracing contacts on suspected instances.”
He said the city was preparing crucial medicines and treatment regimens for an outbreak.
“In diarrhoea hospitals and clinics, we’ve stocked medicines and sundries,” he said.
We’ve also procured IV fluids and mobilized environmental officers and community health workers to do home visits.
“We’re doing everything we can to prevent a repeat of 2008”
No people are now hospitalized, he said.
We urge the public to be on high alert because Malawi and Mozambique are experiencing a cholera outbreak. If we don’t manage it properly, we will be affected.
Itai Rusike, executive director of Community Working Group on Health, said Harare’s water issues demand a long-term solution.
Environmental factors cause various health issues in Harare, including diarrhoea. Safe water, sanitation, and waste disposal are essential,” he said.
Increasing diarrhoeal illnesses are a major concern due to insufficient water and sanitation.
He said council should ring-fence waste collection and water revenue to provide efficient services.
Harare Residents Trust executive director Precious Shumba: “Service delivery has collapsed.”
By God’s grace, many haven’t been infected yet.
“Council has forgotten how to respond to sewer burst reports.”
“Water scarcity is common.”
Most communities report that available council water is unfit for human consumption.
Glen Norah and Glen View were without water for three weeks.
Some opposition councillors are reportedly selling residents water from bowsers.
Harare mayor Councillor Jacob Mafume referred The Sunday Mail to council’s acting corporate communications manager, Mr Innocent Ruwende, who said diarrhoea naturally increases during the rainy season.
We’re recapitalizing because we’re behind on trash collection. We bought equipment to clear trash by 2022,” he said.
Because they spend too much time on the road, refuse compactors no longer take trash to Pomona Dumpsite. We’re building transfer stations where compactors can dump trash to speed up service.
Urban service delivery collapsed due to incompetence, malfeasance, and maladministration. President Mnangagwa has had to intervene through the Presidential Borehole Drilling Scheme to provide relief to residents in Chitungwiza and some parts of Harare. As a long-term solution to Harare’s water woes, the government is building Kunzvi Dam. Sun-Mail