Zimbabwe water shortage risks new Covid infections

By KITSEPILE NYATHI

The acute shortage of water in Zimbabwe’s major cities has left 3.7 million people exposed to communicable diseases such as diarrhoea and typhoid, at a time the southern African country is battling a Covid-19 outbreak.

According to the latest United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Zimbabwe situation report, cases of typhoid and diarrhoea are on the rise in Harare and Bulawayo.

The crisis is mainly caused by consecutive droughts that have seen the two main cities' sources of water running dry.

Long running economic problems have also made it difficult for local authorities to buy water treatment chemicals. Bulawayo and Harare have had to drastically cut down on the provision of water to residents, with some areas going for several weeks without any supply

Desperate residents now resort to fetching water from unprotected wells, which exposes them to various infections.

By the time of reporting, cumulative typhoid cases were 717 and 10 deaths, and for diarrhoea there were a total of 239, 858 cases and 115 deaths across all provinces.

Original paper: https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/tea/rest-of-africa/zimbabwe-water-short...