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#WaterCrisis: Diarrhoea Outbreak Hits Harare

Harare – Dire water shortages engulfing the nation have ignited severe diarrhoea outbreak in the city, with 360 cases reported so far. The...

Harare – Dire water shortages engulfing the nation have ignited severe diarrhoea outbreak in the city, with 360 cases reported so far.

The outbreak started two weeks ago when residents drank untreated water. News outlets, say students at Warren Park 1 Primary School last week suffered a severe diarrhoea outbreak.

Fears of another cholera outbreak, have however been dismissed, though the nation remain pessimistic, after similar incidences in 2008, that claimed thousands of lives. 

As of writing, some residents are reportedly purchasing a bucket of water for ZW$3, with some areas having gone for moths without running water.

“As of today, there are 362 cases of diarrhoea, but we conducted tests to check if there is a possibility of cholera, but the results show that it is just watery diarrhoea. 

“The tests are negative for cholera and typhoid caused by contaminated water. We are trying to fix the issue of water. Our teams are conducting awareness campaigns about the outbreak, giving out chlorine for free,” the city council said. 
Cholera Outbreak in Zimbabwe Claimed Thousands in 2008

The severity of the 2008 outbreak, last recorded a decade earlier, was attributed to poor access of health care, poor health infrastructure, high HIV prevalence, political instability, food shortages, high levels of displaced people and lack of access to safe water.

High inflation triggered severe basic food shortages, collapse of service delivery and large volumes of refugees moving within the country and to neighbouring countries amplified the rapid spared of cholera. 

Raw sewage from burst and aging municipal pipes contaminated urban domestic water system, creating a national catastrophe - and this is still haunting Zimbabwe.

While some may call cholera 'primitive' — actions by the current government suggest worse than that. Soon after his inauguration, the finance mister is occupied with setting up a crowdfunding initiative to alleviate a disease that has a magnitude to wipe out thousands - just like in 2008 when 5 000 lives were lost.

Behind the scenes, the government in lining up millions to purchase expensive cars for legislators just like what they splashed for chiefs, judges, election campaigns and similar excesses. 

Similar primitive thoughts were alluded to former president Robert Mugabe a decade ago as the epidemic ravaged the country — affecting 100 000.

“I am happy to say our doctors have been assisted by others and WHO (the World Health Organisation). So now that there is no cholera.

“Because of cholera, Mr Brown wants a military intervention. Bush wants military intervention because of cholera. There is no cause for war any more. The cholera cause doesn't exist anymore,” former President Mugabe said, angering affected citizens.

And it seems these sentiments are still prevailing. But the finance minister's moves are appreciated though they open a Pandora box.

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