HARARE – The Harare City Council has confirmed a typhoid outbreak in Glen View suburb.

In a statement on Monday, the local authority said it had so far detected four cases in Glen View 3, a working-class neighbourhood with chronic water shortages.

“Council wishes to inform residents of the presence of four typhoid confirmed positive cases which are already under treatment and responding positively,” the council said.

“The cases are three children under seven years and a 17-year-old, all from Glen View 3.

“Council has done contact tracing and is monitoring the contacts.”

Typhoid is caused by a bacteria called Salmonella typhi. The infection is often passed on through contaminated food and drinking water.

The bacterial disease which causes high fever, diarrhea and vomiting is prevalent in places where hand-washing is infrequent.

City of Harare spokesman Michael Chideme said: “We are trying to arrest the situation ad we are confident we will win.”

Some parts of the capital are experiencing intermittent water supplies, made worse by a shortage of water treatment chemicals which saw Jaffray Waterworks being shut down two weeks ago.

The city’s major water sources are drying up, and council chiefs have requested the government to declare a disaster to allow donor partners to send in support.

Lake Chivero, Harare’s main water source which should be spilling around this time of the year, is only 60 percent full while two other dams which augment water supplies — Harava and Seke — are 7 percent and 6.3 percent full respectively.

Harare has been forced to decommission Prince Edward Waterworks because it can no longer draw water from Seke and Harava dams which usually contribute 70 megalitres of water a day of which 30 megalitres were dedicated to Chitungwiza and the remaining 40 megalitres supplied Mbare, Sunningdale and surrounding areas.

Morton Jaffray Treatment Works, which has a capacity of 604 megalitres a day is only pumping 350 to 380 megalitres a day against a demand of about 1,200 megalitres a day. -Zimlive