Government to upgrade worn out sewer systems

HARARE - The government of Zimbabwe has pledged to upgrade the sewer and reticulation systems as a measure to curb the spread of cholera which has so far claimed at least 30 lives.

Speaking during an update of the Cabinet’s sitting, which is now scheduled to take place weekly, minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said the government is working on ensuring that this will be the last time that the disease troubles the country.

Mutsvangwa said an inter-ministerial task force which includes the ministries of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Health and Child Care, Finance and Economic Development, Energy and Power Development, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Agriculture and Rural Settlement and Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services, has been established to tirelessly work on ending cholera.

She highlighted among other things the task force was going to repair sewer and reticulation systems which are suspected to have led to the outbreak of the disease.

“The government is working on upgrading and modernising sewer and reticulation systems and the resources to do so are going to be channelled through the ministry of Finance and Economic Development,” said Mutsvangwa.

Also present was minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, July Moyo who pointed out that since the disease broke out in an urban settlement where there are already existing water and sewer systems there is need for them to be repaired in order to stop the spread of the water-borne disease.

“The outbreak happened in a planned urban settlement with operational sewer and reticulation systems therefore, our focus is on ensuring that the pipes are repaired in order to give people safe and clean water around the city,” said Moyo.

Along the same vein, Health minister Obadiah Moyo said following the ban on public gatherings, more health inspectors have been requested and members of the public are advised to ensure that the quality of foods and water sold and given to them are not infected.

“Banning public gatherings is ideal, but there are few instances where we allow some of them, such as conferences which are easier to control to take place.

“However sometimes the food eaten in those meetings is washed with contaminated water leading to more cholera cases,” he said.

“We would like to encourage those in charge of meetings to get clearance from the ministry of Health to hold their gatherings and to verify that the food and water used is not dangerous so as to prevent the spread of cholera in every way possible.,” added the Health minister.

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