Since May this year, Bulawayo has reported almost 3 000 diarrhoea cases in three major suburbs namely Luveve, Magwegwe and Mzilikazi with five more suburbs having been added to the list this last month.
The attaining situation has become a major public health concern especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Recently in an interview with the Divisional Environmental Health Officer for Bulawayo City and Vice-Chairperson for Emergency Preparedness and Response for Bulawayo Metropolitan province, Patrick Ncube, alluded the prevailing situation in the City owing to the state of water and sanitation.
Residents have for the past months been subjected to acute water shortages which has seen the Bulawayo City Council managing to provide water to only a few suburbs per day. Ncube said:
The city has always experienced water shortage and in the past 4 years, we have not received adequate rains.
Currently, all our 6 dams are sitting at 21 per cent capacity with 3 of them having been decommissioned.
Diarrheal cases have been going down, but the problem remains until we receive rains.
It is this situation that has necessitated water shedding in the city. We are currently having 144 water-shedding regiments once in 7 days, with each household receiving water 1 day per week.
More so, some households do not even receive water at all because of high gravitation.
However, Ncube reassured residents that the city was religiously treating its water and it is safe for drinking. He added that problems arise when residents store water for long periods and in so doing compromising its quality.
Ministry of Health and Childcare