GWERU: The City Council has condemned borehole water at Thornhill High School as unsafe for drinking after more than 60 pupils and members of staff were hospitalised following a diarrhoea outbreak at the school. There was a scare at the school last week when several pupils went down with diarrhoea, forcing the authorities to raise alarm. In an interview yesterday, council health director Mr Sam Sekenhamo said the outbreak at the school could have been as a result of contaminated borehole water that the school was using.

He said laboratory results of water samples taken revealed that the school’s borehole water was highly contaminated and unsafe for drinking.

 “According to the results, the borehole water at the school fell into category D in terms of Eco line population, which means it’s highly contaminated. We have thus prohibited the use of borehole water for drinking purposes at the school,” he said. Mr Sekenhamo said water with Eco line content in category C and D was unsafe for drinking purposes. He said the outbreak at the school was now under control, with 80 cases having been recorded so far.

“When the outbreak was reported, we dispatched our rapid response team, which comprises city health officials, health experts from the office of the Provincial Medical Director as well as those from Gweru District. They are still on the ground and what we have established is that the outbreak did not spread outside the school,” he said. Meanwhile, Mr Sekenhamo allayed fears that Gweru City water could be unsafe for drinking.

There had been reports that the city’s water was not safe for drinking purposes following the diarrhoea outbreak at Thornhill High “If it was Gweru City Council water that was contaminated, all the suburbs that are supplied by the same water pipeline that supplies Thornhill High School would have been affected. There were no cases at the nearby Gweru Polytechnic or surrounding suburbs, meaning this cannot be council water,” he said. state media