Bulawayo city authorities say still puzzled by killer diarrhoea outbreak

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By Mbekezeli Ncube

AUTHORITIES within the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) say they were yet to find any evidence water pumped to Luveve high density suburb contained deposits of sewer water, something that has been linked to over a dozen deaths in the city.

The city has been hit by a typhoid and dysentery outbreak with Luveve being the epicentre of the waterborne diseases.

Atleast 13 residents, the majority children, died with over 1 500 related ailments reported.

Addressing stakeholders at a government parliamentary portfolio committee meeting held at the Large City Hall Monday, Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Simela Dube said authorities were yet to determine the exact point of contamination.

“The exact point of contamination cannot really be identified,” Dube said.

“The current challenge with water shedding is that even if the taps have no water for a period of six days, it does not mean that all the water in the pipe has actually been flushed out. Some water will remain stagnant in the pipe.

“When we resupply, it is that dirt that presents itself into the system.”

Dube said what council has picked out so far during investigations was a broken pipe which municipal teams repaired and indicated they isolated the possibility of contamination.

He also said it was not the first time the city has had pipe bursts.

“Because of the time that the system has had no water, the possibilities of the sewer entering into the water system are very high,” Dube said.