By Dumisani Nyoni
Bulawayo, November 18, 2016 – RESIDENTS in the country’s second largest city are now living in fear of a cholera outbreak and other diseases following the council’s 72 hour-long water shedding programme.
Although the city fathers announced a 72-hour water-shedding regime, some high-density suburbs are going for nearly a week without receiving water as council fails to adhere to its own timetable, raising cholera outbreak fears.
Speaking to RadioVOP on Friday, Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) coordinator, Rodrick Fayayo, said residents were living in fear of a cholera outbreak as the water crisis persists.
“The reports we are getting are not pleasing and the situation is very hard as the council is failing to adhere to its water shedding timetable. Residents are very vulnerable and we have been talking to the city council on what measures they are putting in place to avert water crisis. We are now living in fear of diseases such as cholera,” Fayayo said.
Fayayo said they have started engaging residents and raising awareness on the issue to allow rate payers to appreciate the scale of the crisis so as to actively conserve water.
Residents told RadioVOP that their toilets were now in a mess and they have resorted to using bush to relieve themselves.
“Our toilets are very dirty and we are now using bush as our toilets. However, since it is the rain season, we fear a cholera outbreak,” one resident, Sibusisiwe Ndlovu, said.
Cholera can be transmitted through water and fresh foods especially fruits, fish and meat and pre-cooked food sold in the open.
Zimbabwe experienced its worst cholera outbreak between August 2008 and July 2009 when almost 100 000 cases and 5 000 deaths were reported in 55 of the country’s 63 districts.