Zimbabwe warned on risk of cholera outbreak

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday warned that Zimbabwe's capital Harare was at risk of repeating a cholera outbreak five years ago that killed over 4,200 people.

The group said a long-running sanitation crisis in the city of two million meant drinking was often taken from wells that were contaminated with from broken pipes.

"In many communities there is no water for drinking or bathing, there is sewage in the streets, there is diarrhoea and typhoid and the threat of another ," Tiseke Kasambala, the southern africa director of HRW said.

"Harare's water and sanitation system is broken and the government isn't fixing it."

A 60-page report warned that history showed the risks of doing nothing.

Crumbling infrastructure led to an outbreak of cholera in 2008 which killed over 4,200 people and infected 100,000.

While deadly, the disease is easily preventable with clean water and proper sewage.

Aid organisations have helped to provide medicines and to sink several boreholes in the capital since 2008, but some of the holes have reportedly been contaminated with sewage.

Several suburbs in Harare don't have tap water and people are forced to queue for hours to collect water.

"Harare's water and sanitation system has been destroyed by decades of neglect and by ongoing mismanagement and corruption," Kasambala said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cholera kills 50 in northern Nigeria in a week

Oct 21, 2013

Cholera has killed 50 people in northwest Nigeria in the past week, health officials said Monday, in the latest outbreak of the disease which has claimed thousands of lives across the country since 2010.

Typhoid outbreak hits Zimbabwe

Jan 24, 2012

At least 90 people were admitted to hospital and over 600 affected in a typhoid outbreak in the Zimbabwean capital Harare, a health official said on Tuesday.

Recommended for you

In the battle against Ebola, a double-layer solution

2 hours ago

When working with Ebola patients, protective gear works, but removing it can be harrowing. Seeking to protect health care workers from the precarious nature of taking off soiled gloves, Cornell students have ...

New hope for rare disease drug development

13 hours ago

Using combinations of well-known approved drugs has for the first time been shown to be potentially safe in treating a rare disease, according to the results of a clinical trial published in the open access Orphanet Journal of ...

Three weeks since last Ebola case in Mali: WHO

16 hours ago

Mali has not had a case of Ebola for three weeks, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, completing one of the two incubation periods the country needs to be declared free of the virus.

Migraine may double risk for facial paralysis

16 hours ago

Migraine headache may double the risk of a nervous system condition that causes facial paralysis, called Bell's palsy, according to a new study published in the December 17, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journa ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.