Human Waste Detected In Borehole Water In Harare
The City of Harare has temporarily decommissioned 15 boreholes that were contaminated with human waste in three suburbs.
The boreholes are believed to be the source of typhoid cases reported in Glen Norah, Mbare and Budiriro.
City health authorities tested water samples taken from 127 boreholes in the three suburbs and found significant traces of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, indicating the presence of faecal matter.
Seventy-two (72) suspected typhoid cases are being monitored, while about 20 others have been confirmed.
City epidemiology and disease control officer Dr. Michael Vere said:
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We have tested several boreholes in Harare — a total of 127 — and we discovered that seven boreholes were contaminated with faecal matter in Glen Norah and eight boreholes in Mbare.
We temporarily closed these boreholes and installed in-line chlorinators; these are devices that contain chlorine, which kills all the bacteria in the water to make it safe for use.
These boreholes could have been the source of typhoid infection.
Increase potable water supplies
Vere said the city plans to increase potable water pumped into areas where boreholes have been decommissioned. He said:
We are working with our Water Department so that affected suburbs get water supplies.
Our health department has recorded 92 cases of suspected typhoid, of which about 20 have been confirmed.
From January 1, we recorded a total of nine cases.
We have seven cases from Glen Norah and two other cases — one each in Highfield and Ushewokunze.
We continued to record an increasing number of cases in Glen Norah and this prompted us to investigate the source of the outbreak.