The Harare City Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority are today expected to ban all fishing activities in contaminated dams around the city to control the outbreak of typhoid which has so far affected about 900 residents in the capital.
This comes barely 24 hours after police yesterday blocked a clean-up operation organised by Kuwadzana residents, where the typhoid outbreak started.
Harare town clerk, Tendai Mahachi, told NewsDay during a tour of the suburbs yesterday council and the parks authority had established that fish from the dams carried the infection.
“We have to talk to parks officials to stop fishing at the surrounding lakes and I will engage them today or tomorrow.
“You find there is raw sewage coming from Chitungwiza straight into the water sources and that’s one factor that causes typhoid,” said Mahachi.
“The main problem here is fish that is being sold at night. Fish coming from heavily contaminated sources and we have to stop that,” he said.
He said all the shops have to be inspected and workers tested as a matter of urgency.
“We should have them tested and all shops found with no health
certificates will be stopped from operating.”
Mahachi also warned the city might be forced to decommission most of the boreholes around the capital as it had also been observed most were contaminated as a result of underground sewer seepage.
“Most of the boreholes are contaminated and we will decommission most of them. The sewer that led to cholera is also affecting the boreholes,” he said.
Yesterday, armed police were deployed to Kuwadzana to stop a clean-up exercise organised by the residents. Police claimed the MDC-T councillor for the area, Urayayi Mangwiro, had not sought police clearance for the event.
Police provincial spokesman for Harare, Inspector James Sabau said: “The clear fact is there is a councillor in Kuwadzana who had applied to hold a rally at Kuwadzana 4 shopping centre. He was told to change the venue because the shopping centre is a place where many people come. He went back saying he was consulting but never came back with an alternative venue. He came back on Saturday saying he wanted to carry out a clean-up exercise but that could not be approved.
“In fact council officials are cleaning up the area. Police have no problems with initiatives of that nature by residents but we have a problem if people see us as people who can be easily hoodwinked. It was more of a political gathering coming in another form and we always want to avoid problems,” he said.
But councillor Mangwiro said: “I had organised a clean-up exercise and it was not even political. No one was wearing party T-shirts but the police just came and stopped the exercise.”