By Tanyaradzwa Timbatimba
Chitungwiza Town Council has set up diarrhoea reaction teams as fears of another massive outbreak grow in the dormitory town which is suffering acute water challenges.
Mayor Lovemore Maiko said they had set up pre-emptive teams to deal with any outbreaks of diarrhoea as the town appears set to succumb to another scourge of the disease.
“We have a standing diarrhoea diseases Outbreak and Prevention Committee (OPC) that reacts to and sets up reaction teams and centres within 24 hours,” he said.
Mayor Maiko said the persistent diarrhoea situation was a result of the use of shallow wells due to shortages of clean water.
“Our residents have always, not just recently, relied on shallow wells and the sewer polluted streams and rivers.
“This is indeed a serious health hazard.
“We do not condone shallow wells but where they exist, we encourage boiling and chlorination of the water”, he said.
As a stop-gap measure, Chitungwiza Council is set to drill boreholes that go deeper than the normal ones some of which are said to be contaminated.
“The only solution is to go deeper and Council is almost done with the drilling of 25 boreholes whilst Muda Dam is at feasibility study level and will soon be submitted to Cabinet” he added
Chitungwiza has previously suffered outbreaks of diarrhoea earlier this year with a number of cases reportedly recorded in Manyame Park Phase 2.
In an interview then, Chitungwiza Residents Association director Ms Alice Kuvheya called upon the Chitungwiza Municipality to urgently address the water situation which she pointed at as the main reason for the situation.
“This is unfortunate and an unacceptable situation,” she said.
Although many houses in Chitungwiza have the infrastructure for piped water, water flows into most homes is inconsistent.
In most places such as St Mary’s and Zengeza residents receive taped water for only two days a week while in some suburbs of Seke tape water ceased to run some four or five years ago, a situation resulting from old town planning which did not provide provisions for the higher population of today.
In Zimbabwe diarrhoea is responsible for 10 percent of deaths of children under five years.