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Friday, July 19, 2024

Uncollected garbage exposes residents to cholera

Story by Theophilus Chuma

RESIDENTS in cholera-prone high-density suburbs of Harare are living on the edge as heaps of uncollected garbage are providing a breeding ground for waterborne diseases.

Piles of rubbish left to gather over many weeks, a strong stench of rotten food fills the air; the foul smell made worse from a mixture of human waste and urine.

This is just a stone’s throw from houses, the flies from the garbage pile have become a menace to the residents.

Gogo Mukucha has tried over many years to have the illegal dumpsite removed but to no avail.

Her fears appear to fall on deaf ears.

“The threat of cholera is something that I fear worst. I am not very well and if this disease knocks on my door, only God knows what it will do to me,” said Mbare resident, Gogo Mukucha.

Cholera statistics are currently hitting the roof with official figures showing at least 12 000 cases reported and over 200 deaths since the outbreak of the deadly infection in February this year.

As the cholera cases rise, so do the heaps of uncollected filth across high-density suburbs.

“We wonder if there is a City Council anymore. Are they not aware of the cholera crisis that is happening in our areas? We kindly appeal for this issue to be addressed,” said a concerned resident.

“We are now afraid of a cholera outbreak because of uncollected rubbish and burst sewer pipes. This situation is indeed going out of hand. Council has not been collecting rubbish for many months,” said another.

Ironically the local authority says it has the situation under control.

“We have a solid plan which we will be implementing next year,” said the Harare City Council spokesperson, Mr Stanley Gama.

Across many high-density suburbs, images of uncollected garbage have become synonymous with a challenge that has persisted for many years.

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