Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa yesterday issued a cholera and typhoid alert due to erratic water supply in Harare and other cities which poses a serious danger of an outbreak of water-borne diseases. Harare has confirmed 60 cases of typhoid so far.
The National Microbiology Reference Laboratory has also confirmed three typhoid cases in Mutare and Masvingo. Harare City Council recently introduced a five-day water rationing schedule which has forced residents into the bush and digging shallow wells because taps are dry.
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This is an emergency because once you do not have enough water, it impacts on sanitation and once you have poor sanitation you are already inviting water-borne diseases. The impact might not be serious now, but when it rains and there are flash floods, all this dirt will be washed away into shallow and unprotected water sources. This is when you see an increase in water-borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera and diarrhoea.
He also warned people against drinking water from shallow wells once the rains come.