Shortage of Clean Water in Phalombe Raises Cholera Concerns

Phiri Phiri - pic by Ronnex Chiwanda

The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust says continued shortage of clean running water in Phalombe is increasing the risk of cholera outbreak in the district.

The Trust’s District Civic Education Officer, Boniface Phiri, has told Zodiak Online on Monday that the district has gone for a week now without clean tap water raising serious concerns about the deadly disease.

“People at Phalombe Boma and the surrounding areas lost access to potable water about a week ago after devastating flush floods damaged pipes and water intake points leaving people vulnerable to the monster disease. Infectious diseases thrive when clean water is scarce,” said Phiri.

Nonetheless, he stated that his organization is developing risk communication materials for residents on appropriate water, sanitation and hygiene behaviours essential to avoid a deadly outbreak of Cholera and other vector diseases.

Group Village Headman Chaima also expressed worry that the water shortage is happening when the district is facing one of the most unusual cholera outbreaks.

“This kind of cholera is unprecedented and we need to worry so much when we don’t have access to clean running water in the face of such a strange beast of disease,” said Chaima.

Chief executive officer for Southern region water board (SRWB), Duncan Chambamba, says the board has maintained the intake and operations will resume by Wednesday this week.

“We are currently providing water to customers using water browsers and all things getting equal normal operations will resumes Wednesday this week,” said Chambamba.

Meanwhile, Chairperson for Phalombe Major Water Scheme, James Mphepo, says rehabilitation of the damaged section of the pipeline and the intake is underway but was not non committal on actual time frame people will start accessing piped water.

Last week, floods damaged water intakes for Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) and Phalombe Major Water Scheme respectively after Phalombe River got swelled.

NICE Trust is currently conducting a Tithetse Cholera Campaign in all districts across the country.

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