BEITBRIDGE Town Council hopes to avert recurrent cholera outbreaks through a cocktail of strategies aimed at ensuring sanitation and access to safe water.
The border town of nearly 54 000 people has turned out to be a cholera hotspot.
The country’s massive 2008 cholera outbreak, which claimed many lives in Beitbridge, was caused by the bacterium vibrio cholerae.
According to the Health ministry data, as of August 28 this year, the district had recorded 323 suspected cases, 132 confirmed cases and three deaths.
Yesterday, town clerk Loud Ramakgapola said: “We are working hard to ensure that servicing of stands with sewage and water reticulation is done.
“There are areas which are behind in terms of servicing and that’s where we are putting lots of efforts.
“We are in a partnership with a non-governmental organisation to rehabilitate boreholes within the town and we hope that this activity should be done by end of September.”
Ramakgapola said Beitbridge Town Council was also working with Zimborders/Raubex to ensure the recently installed new water reservoir is connected to the council water reticulation system.
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“We have also intensified health education among our residents,” he said.
A number of partners have also come in handy in the fight against cholera in the border town.
One such is the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society. With support from the International Federation of Red Cross, the organisation has moved in to ensure access to safe drinking water and promote hygiene awareness in affected communities with the view of instilling behaviour change under the Cholera Disaster Response Emergency Fund programme.
Natural resources governance and environmental expert Tapuwa O’bren Nhachi attributed recurrent cholera outbreaks in Beitbridge to poor sanitation and contaminated water sources.
“The region is a shifting wave of migrants, sex workers and traders, which makes it difficult for the local authority to provide adequate sanitation facilities,” he said.