It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the rising cases of cholera as a passing phase. This is especially so when one considers the sad and unpalatable situation on the ground where the highly infectious disease is spreading rapidly.
For the umpteenth time, our impoverished communities are having to bear the brunt of misplaced priorities and lopsided policies which authorities have repeatedly implemented to the detriment of the masses.
The rising cases of cholera in Harare and Chitungwiza area are a sad reminder of how both local authorities and government have failed to act with finality on the perennial water problems stalking communities in these two respective areas.
While other municipalities have had problems with water, Harare’s water shortages are well documented.
Dysfunctional and dilapidated infrastructure has been cited as major contributing factors yet in areas where there has been rehabilitation of water and sanitation equipment, there has been little to talk about in terms of the supply of potable water.
It would be very unfair to try and blame local authorities, in this case Harare and Chitungwiza councils for failing to pump water without considering problems they have been facing in sourcing both new equipment and water treatment chemicals for provision of safe water to residents.
Government has not really looked at the issue of water supply and treated it with the urgent attention it deserves.
In all its annual budgets that have been passed by Parliament there has not been any significant chunk of money set aside for improving water supply to both residents and industries.
Many people were born and died hearing about the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project and the Kunzvi Dams which have all remained pipe dreams.
So when there are outbreaks of diseases such as typhoid and cholera, we should look at our successive governments and judge them appropriately for they have failed us in improving water supply to the populace.
Memories of the 2008 cholera outbreak which claimed the lives of more than 4 000 people are still with us.
There is every reason to feel let down and embarrassed by the recurrence of cholera.
It’s a disease which belongs to the Stone Age era.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium vibrio cholerae.
In most cases failure to avail potable water, proper sanitation or safe alternatives has driven the public into using contaminated sources of water and defecating in open spaces. DailyNews