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Cholera Outbreak Hits Tanzania's Commercial Capital

Tanzanian officials say a month-long outbreak of cholera has killed 21 people and stricken 253. A spokesperson for the Dar es Salaam city council says several people have died in the past four days, and more than 100 were taken to hospitals. Last month, Zanzibar’s local government took steps to stop the spread of the disease. It banned the sale of food and juice on the street and closed some local restaurants.

Ramadan Kabale is a reporter with the Dar es Salaam-based Kabula Media Group. He told English to Africa reporter Ashenafi Abedje the main causes for cholera are “poor sewage, sanitation and lack of community awareness about the need for cleanliness.” He says, “Relevant authorities, individuals, people in the communities – no one seems to be taking aggressive moves to curb this thing.”

Kabale says the latest cholera outbreak is primarily affecting the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. But he cautions, “Conditions for cholera outbreak exist in several towns in Tanzania.” Kabale describes steps being taken by authorities as “fire brigade measures” – measures he says don’t result in long-term solutions. He says the country “will continue to grapple with cholera unless and until the right measures are taken.”