Fear of cholera outbreak, as scarcity of portable water hits Chama District


Erratic water supply has hit Chama District in Eastern Province due to prolonged electricity outages, as people fear cholera outbreak in the area.

Chama North Member of parliament, Yotam Mtayachalo, fears that the development had the potential to result into the outbreak of diarrheal diseases such as cholera.

“The continued prolonged power interruptions in the district has the potential to result into the outbreak of diarrheal diseases such as cholera because of the district’s proximity to neighbouring Malawi where there is an outbreak of the disease if issues of water and sanitation are not attended to urgently,” Mtayachalo said in a statement issued on Monday in Lusaka.

He also cited that the electricity challenges had affected smooth hospital operations and the mortuary.

He explained that the district hospital generator had not been operational which not an acceptable situation was.

Mtayachalo feared the worst in an event of power black outs, more importantly in regard to emergency surgical operations.

Read more: Cholera cases reach 16, as fears mount over spread to other parts of Zambia

“I am extremely worried about the erratic supply of water in Chama district in Eastern province due to prolonged electricity outages for the past days hence affecting economic activities and households as it is said water is life and such people are forced to draw unsafe water from kamphemba stream and shallow wells,” he said.

He therefore appealed to ZESCO to put in place stop gap measures in order to mitigate incessant power disruptions from ESKOM, the Malawian power utility because ZESCO ran diesel generators in the district in order to normalise the situation.

He stated that the continued delays in the construction of substations by ZESCO to pave way for Chama district being connected to Zambia’s reliable electricity grid following the completion of 132kilovottes transmission line from Chipata to Chama is exacerbating electricity challenges in the district.

“It is in light of the forgoing that I’m making an earnest appeal to the ZESCO, Eastern Water and Sewerage Company and the ministry of health respectively to quickly find solutions to these challenges I have highlighted in order to forestall the outbreak of diseases and loss of lives in the district,” Mtayachalo said.

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