Experts from the World Health Organization said water sources in Harare’s Budiriro suburb, an early epicenter of the cholera epidemic still wracking the country, are heavily contaminated with bacteria, requiring urgent intervention, Zimbabwean state media reported Monday.
The state-run Herald newspaper reported that WHO tests showed local water, including from boreholes, was heavily contaminated by fecal bacteria.
Cholera has claimed more than 3,600 lives in Zimbabwe since the epidemic took hold about seven months ago in Budiriro and Chitungwiza, a Harare satellite town.
Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo, chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the findings vindicate warnings by local experts as to the poor quality of water in the nation’s capital.
Though domestic and international relief agencies have been expanding efforts to bring the epidemic under control, a dozen people, many of them members of just two families, recently died of the disease in Chidembo village, Shamva North district, Mashonaland Central province, after villagers failed to recognize symptoms and report the outbreak to authorities.
Correspondent Sylvia Manika reported on the events in Chidembo village.