A disease outbreak in Bulawayo claimed nine lives by, with a total of 1 500 suspected cases being attended by 21 June 2020, Broadcasting Minister Monica Mutsvangwa revealed yesterday.
The gastrointestinal disease outbreak in Old and Luveve, Cowdry Park and Gwabalanda suburbs has been attributed to the 144-hour water-shedding regime as well as the vandalism of outfall sewers.
Mutsvangwa said, “In response to the Gastrointestinal Disease outbreak, four treatment stations have since been set up and Rapid Response Teams are currently conducting door to door for inspections to determine the extent of the outbreak.”
“Cabinet has directed Treasury to immediately avail financial resources in order to contain the outbreak and address the water challenge in Bulawayo.”
Bulawayo has been having water challenges, attributed to the disease outbreak, since November last year.
Drought in the Bulawayo region left the city with only three out of the six dams that supply the residents.
The city mayor Solomon Mguni in a local newspaper said the Bulawayo council’s abstraction system does not allow for drawing of water from the remaining Insiza Mayfair, Inyankuni and Mtshabezi dams for the next 14 months.
In response to the crisis, local authorities in February applied to Government to declare the city’s water crisis an emergency to enable development partners to mobilise resources towards provision of water.
Measures being instituted against the water crisis in the wake of the gastrointestinal disease outbreak include water mains renewal, de-chocking of small diameter sewer lines within the household network and weekly water quality sampling.
“Plans are also underway to increase raw water supplies to the City of Bulawayo through pumping water from Mtshabezi, Insiza, Inyakhuni dams, as well as the Epping Forest and Rochester Aquifers,” Mutsvangwa said.