Parched city braces for disease outbreak

BULAWAYO - Desperate measures being taken by residents here to cushion the effects of acute water shortages are aggravating the health problems of its 1.5 million residents. Stringent water rationing has been introduced in a bid to make the contents of fast-dwindling dams last until the ons

et of the expected rains in November, but the municipal council acknowledges that the poor inflows of water into the southern city’s reservoirs has led to an increase in waterborne diseases.
Council spokesperson Pathisa Nyathi said: “Council is making every effort to ensure those who have contracted diarrhoea receive treatment before more people are affected,” but declined to disclose how many residents had suffered from waterborne diseases since the shortages began in earnest five months ago.
“We are praying that we do not get a cholera outbreak because that will be difficult to control, but as water shortages continue we are likely to get a cholera outbreak in the city, but as of now we are doing everything to contain the diarrhoea and dysentery cases,” Nyathi said. “The situation is critical and as water levels deteriorate, residents will be getting water once in every eleven days, and we expect that to happen as from the beginning of October this year.” – IRIN

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