Home » General » Cholera Fears As Gwanda Water Crisis Worsens

A SENIOR medical officer at Gwanda referral hospital has warned that the town is sitting on a health time-bomb as water shortages in the Matabeleland South capital continue.

The health expert who cannot be named for professional reasons said diarrhoea cases in townships worst affected by the water crisis are increasing at an alarming rate.

He was speaking at a recent residents meeting held at Phelandaba stadium.

“We are receiving a worrisome number of diarrhoea cases from Garikai and Spitzkop because of the serious shortage of water and if nothing is done soon we may have an outbreak of cholera,” the official told the meeting attended by councillors.

Erratic supplies have resulted in the high-lying areas of Spitzkop, Ultra-High and Garikai townships going for months without water.

The Zimbabwe Water Authority (Zinwa) has been rationing water supplies in a bid to force the local authority to honour a $7,2 million debt, but the impasse has aersely affected the livelihoods of thousands of residents.

“It’s been six months since we last had running water in our tapes, and nothing seems to be done to solve the problem,” said Nontobeko Moyo of Spitzkop.

Moyo added they were being forced to use nearby bushes to relieve themselves.

A borehole that was drilled as a contingency measure has dried up due to poor rainfall.

Gwanda mayor Knowledge Ndlovu says the municipality is in the process of putting up booster pumps to increase water pressure to high level townships.

“We are mounting booster pumps to solve the crisis and soon the problem will be over,” said Ndlovu.

But experts fear that the installation of the booster pumps will further burden an already aged pipeline, leading to pipe bursts.

Water crisis worsens … Central GwandaThe mayor has however, allayed such concerns saying United Nations agency, UNICEF, is working with the council to rehabilitate the towns worn out pipeline.

Even so, for most of the town’s residents the provision of safe, running water remains a pipe dream.

Source : New Zimbabwe