BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
GWERU City Council has decommissioned a borehole at Isolation Hospital after it was discovered that it was contaminated resulting in residents contracting diarrhoeal infections, Southern Eye has established.
Council spokesperson Vimbai Chingwaramusee confirmed the development and said some residents, particularly from the nearby Montrose suburb, who use the borehole, have since been treated and discharged.
She said laboratory tests ruled out the salmonella bacteria, which causes typhoid, and that the residents suffered from common diarrhoeal infections.
“It’s true the borehole at Isolation Hospital was recently decommissioned following a number of residents being treated and discharged at our clinics following diarrhoeal infections,” she said.
“We noticed a common trend, where the residents, particularly those (from Montrose), who draw water from the borehole, contracted diarrhoeal infections. After tests were made at a government laboratory, results indicated that water from the borehole was contaminated and it was immediately decommissioned.”
Chingwaramusee, however, could not give the exact number of people treated, but investigations by Southern Eye showed that they were more than 20.
She said council engineers were carrying further tests to determine the source of the contamination although there were fears the water could have mixed with sewer from burst pipes.
“We also want to encourage residents to boil water from boreholes, keep it in safe containers or apply disinfecting tablets before consuming it, as well as exercising other best hygiene practices,” she said.
She said council had so far trained 100 health community workers to educate people on basic hygiene practices in various wards across the city.
In August last year, the city experienced a typhoid outbreak which claimed eight lives, with 2 000 cases recorded.