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Cholera-causing bacteria found in Harare boreholes; residents urged not to drink, wash or cook with untreated water |


By Staff Reporter


UPPER Manyame Sub-Catchment Council (UMSCC) has detected Escherichia coli (E.coli), a cholera-causing bacteria in boreholes that were tested in 14 residential areas of Harare.

The results, revealed on Monday, come at a time when Zimbabwe is battling to deal with a cholera outbreak that has been exported to Zambia and northern parts of South Africa.

UMSCC tested boreholes from upmarket Mt. Pleasant, Avondale, and Greendale to cholera-prone Budiriro, Hopley, Mbare, Glen View and Waterfalls, Eyecourt, Chitungwiza, Eastlea, Norton, and Lyton industry areas.

All tested positive for E.coli putting hundreds of thousands that now depend on borehole water at risk.

Millions of Harare residents now bank on boreholes since the condemnation of council water.

“The water quality testing which was conducted by UMSCC revealed the presence of E.coli bacteria in boreholes located in the following areas: Mt. Pleasant, Budiriro, Avondale, Waterfalls, Glen View, Eyecourt, Lyton industry, Chitungwiza, Greendale, Hopley, Eastlea, Norton and Mbare.

“E.coli bacteria can cause various illnesses, including cholera, which poses a significant health risk. The presence of E.coli indicates potential contamination of the water supply in these areas.

“The households and institutions who had their water tested have been informed of the results. (They should) not drink, cook, or wash with untreated water from boreholes or other sources in the listed areas,” reads UMSCC’s statement.

The first of Zimbabwe’s current cholera outbreaks was reported in February last year.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) over 20,000 people have been infected or affected with 370 deaths recorded as of January 2024.





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