A health hazard is looming in cholera and typhoid hotspots of Budiriro and Glenview Suburbs in Harare amid revelations that about 140 sewer bursts have not been unattended to over the past days.
Community Water Alliance (CWA) visited the affected households in Glenview and Budiriro as part of their tour to assess water and sewer bursts affecting citizens under the Campaign TsimbaDzeUtano/InyatheloLokuhlanzeka recently launched to address WASH challenges in the areas.
“58 cases and 79 cases of serious sewer bursts were reported in Glen View and Budiriro respectively. These remain unattended to date.
“Preliminary findings from the assessment revealed that there are several sewer bursts that have gone for over a month without being addressed,” said CWA director Mr Hardlife Mudzingwa.
Mr Mudzingwa said the persistence of these sewer bursts is brewing a recipe for disaster in Glenview and Budiriro which are cholera hotspots.
“Citizens are likely to face a double tragedy from water borne diseases like typhoid and cholera and the deadly global pandemic Covid-19 which require regular handwashing with soap under running water.
“In 2008/9 Glenview recorded typhoid and cholera cases and this repeated in 2017/18. All the cases recorded during this period were attributed to contaminated water sources emanating from sewer bursts in Glenview,” he said.
Mr Mudzingwa said most citizens in Glenview are no longer using their toilets.
“Some are using buckets as toilets and later on discharge waste on the nearby open area. This is a clear case of open defecation.
“Other residents are using neighbour’s toilets who are less affected whenever they want to relief themselves and this is brewing conflicts within Budiriro and Glen View.”
“Sewage is flowing covering their yards especially during this rain season. Poor drainage system and poor planning on housing has further compounded the problem.”
Community Water Alliance through its #TsimbaDzeUtano Campaign aims to ensure sewer and water pipe bursts are addressed as early as humanly possible.
Mr Mudzingwa proposed the following urgent interventions to prevent outbreak of water borne diseases including the provision of mobile toilets while interventions to repair all sewer bursts are formulated and implemented.
Others proposed measures are the distribution of hygiene kits to address health and hygiene conditions, addressing concerns raised by City of Harare officials who are currently on strike.