MPs from constituencies that were last year hard-hit by the cholera epidemic have joined in the fight against the deadly disease by engaging in projects to lessen the spread of the epidemic.
Mbare MP Piniel Denga (MDC-T) whose constituency suffered some of the worst cases of cholera said this year they decided to try and nip the disease in the bud by promoting projects to ensure people in his constituency had access to clean water.
“I have built five boreholes situated at Magaba Flats, Nenyere Flats, Shawasha Flats, one borehole between Matapi and Matererini flats, Majubheki Flats and Mbare Flats,” Denga said.
“We are also trying to stop sewer and water leakages at different blocks of flats because some of the sewer pipes are broken down.”
Denga said at times raw sewer age spilled into entrances to the flats and residents ended up putting bricks to create makeshift pavements to allow them to pass and enter their houses.
“Most taps were vandalised and I am trying to improve them and erect more so that people do not have to queue up for only one tap to access water. We are trying everything to minimize cases of water-borne diseases,” said Denga.
Zimbabwe was hit by a cholera epidemic in 2008 to 2009, with reports saying by January 2010 there had been 98 741 reported cases and 4 293 deaths, making it the deadliest African cholera outbreak in the past 15 years.
The Zimbabwean government had to declare it a national emergency and solicited for international aid.
The principal causes of the outbreak were said to be lack of access to safe water in urban areas due to the collapse of urban sanitation and garbage collection systems, which coincided with the advent of the rainy season that helped spread the water-borne bacteria.
Zaka West MP Festus Dumbu said wards 23 and 27 in his constituency recorded some of the worst cases of cholera in 2008 to 2009 and with the allocations of Constituency Development Funds to lawmakers, he was going to promote the drilling of boreholes to try and minimise cholera cases this rainy season.
“The cholera outbreak was very serious last year and we experienced many deaths and that is why we need to spruce up our efforts at drilling boreholes,” said Dumbu.
Dumbu said before his constituency embarked on borehole drilling, some of the villages had no safe water sources and had to rely on using water from Mutirikwi River, which was prone to contamination.