Britain Donates US$1 Million To Avert Cholera in Zimbabwe

The money to be provided through Department of International Development (DFID) will help sustain a programme where UNICEF was buying water treatment chemicals on behalf of the local authorities to avert cholera outbreaks.

The chemicals will be provided through the water and sanitation programme that will directly benefit four million Zimbabweans, the British embassy announced on Wednesday two days after President Robert Mugabe’s vitriolic attack on country’s former colonial master.

“Britain will provide over US$130 million in development support for health, water and sanitation, education and improved livelihoods for the ordinary Zimbabwean,” said Dave Fish, the head of DFID in Zimbabwe in a statement.

“None of this will be more important that the contribution to the prevention of water borne diseases.”

The programme that is being implemented by UNICEF will meet the water purification of 20 local authorities across the country, the embassy said.

“It will help curb the outbreak of diseases such as cholera, which is threatening again due to the deterioration in the water and sanitation facilities in the country,” the statement added.

Apart from the United Kingdom, AusAid, the European Union and the United Nations are also supporting the UNICEF programme.

In May, government announced that it had reached a new arrangement with UNICEF that will see the UN agency extending the assistance for a further nine months within which period it will cut its support by 10 percent each month.

UNICEF would supply the water treatment chemicals until March next year where it is expected the local authorities would have recovered from the collapse spawned by the economic problems that preceded the unity government.

Despite slapping targeted sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle as a member of the EU, Britain has remained one of Zimbabwe’s biggest donors.