Cowdray Park residents fear cholera outbreak


Residents of Cowdray Park in Bulawayo occupying houses built under the previous government’s Operation Hlalani Kuhle/Garikai are facing serious water shortages which may lead to another cholera outbreak.
Two years ago cholera claimed thousands of lives.
About five years ago, the government built 750 houses in that suburb to resettle people displaced by the disastrous clean-up exercise dubbed Operation Murambatsvina, but never installed reticulation systems resulting in residents resorting to the bush for lack of ablution facilities.
The residents have also been forced to fetch water from unprotected sources posing a serious health hazard.
One of the affected Cowdray Park residents, Nomqhele Sibanda, said:
“I have lived here since these houses were built and there has never been any water or reticulation system. We have no choice but to relieve ourselves in the bush.”
The Councillor for Cowdray Park, Collete Ndhlovu, said the water crisis had become so dire that the local authority was now considering shouldering the responsibility of supplying water to avoid a catastrophe.
An engineer at Bulawayo City Council said the only immediate solution would be for the residents to buy the necessary water pipes and other equipment while council would provide technical assistance.