16 February 2019

Zimbabwe: President Declares Harare Metropolitan Province State of Disaster

Photo: IRIN
Cholera breeding grounds.

President Mnangagwa has declared Harare Metropolitan Province and other areas a state of disaster due to the intermittent outbreaks of cholera. The notice was published in the Government Gazette General Notice 268 of 2019 yesterday.

"It is hereby notified that His Excellency the President has in terms of Section 27(1) of the Civil Protection Act (Chapter 10:06) declared that because of the public emergency occasioned by the intermittent outbreaks of cholera in Harare Metropolitan Province and other areas affected, a state of disaster exists with effect from September 2018," reads the gazette

The President's declaration was prompted by a series of cholera outbreaks in some suburbs in Harare and surroundings areas which claimed 30 lives last year.

In a statement after the sporadic outbreak of cholera in Harare and neighbouring towns last year, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Cde July Moyo said because of the magnitude of the public health emergency, a recommendation had been made to President Mnangagwa to declare the cholera menace a state of disaster.

"The City of Harare is facing a plethora of challenges, notably insufficient safe water supplies, frequent sewer pipe bursts, uncollected refuse and rampant illegal vending," he said.

"This has negatively impacted on public health in the city, exposing residents to diarrhoeal disease outbreaks, an upsurge in typhoid fever cases and sporadic outbreaks of cholera."

Minister Moyo said there was need to put in place strategic measures to manage the drivers of these outbreaks, notably water supply situation, the dilapidated sewer systems, waste management and illegal vending challenges.

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