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Govt embarks on “operation chenesa Harare” as cholera cases spike  

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By Anna Chibamu


The government has embarked on an operation code-named “Chenesa Harare” that will see garbage collected from the city while the treasury will provide funds to procure chemicals for water purification.

During a press conference Saturday, Health Minister Douglas Mombeshora said the operation had been necessitated by the increased cases of cholera.

As of January 5, 2024, the government had recorded 15 571 suspected cholera cases with 1871 confirmed cases; 67 deaths have been confirmed with 280 more suspected deaths recorded while 15036 recoveries were recorded during the period.

The case fatality rate is at 2.2% according to the statistics from the Health Ministry.

In Harare as of the same date, Glen View had 22 new suspected cases, Kuwadzana had 22, Highfield 15, and Budiriro eight (8) cases.

Chitungwiza had 11 suspected cholera cases.

“Cholera is a deadly disease If not managed well and is caused by poor hygiene and sanitation conditions. The causes are easily preventable.

“Part of this operation is to address the poor hygiene conditions which are prevailing in Harare. The government has to intervene wherever they see that things are not moving properly,” Mombeshora said.

The government has blamed the City council for the current challenges saying it had failed to collect garbage, failed to provide clean portable water as well installing proper reticulation sewer systems.

Mombeshora said the first level of intervention would be removing solid waste and this would be followed by the provision of clean portable water.

He told journalists that the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is also working in all the other parts of the country.

“Government has mobilized resources from its sources including the private sector to assist in cleaning up Harare. We have given ourselves one week, starting from January the 5th to the 12th to make sure all garbage in Harare is collected.

“The Civil Protection Unit (CPU) has mobilised 13 tipper trucks from the City of Harare, refuse compactors (14), EMA has brought in two; we have private players who have brought in a total of six front and loaders, one back hole loader and all in all we have a total of 16 refuse compactors.

“So far we have managed to move 65 tons of garbage using dump trucks with a total of 122 tons of garbage so far having been removed and taken to Pomona Dump site.”

The minister added that “Harare had been subdivided into five regions where region one covers areas around the central business district (CBD) which include Mbare, Sunningdale, Hatfield, and Waterfalls have eight trucks operating in this region.

“Region two covers Harare South which includes Hopely, Southlea Park, Ushekuwekunze, and Istol. Region three covers Highfield, Southerton, Glen Norah, Churu, Glen View, Budiriro, and Mufakose where a lot of cholera cases have been reported. This region has been given 14 trucks.

“Region Four covers Warren Park, Dzivarasekwa, Kuwadzana, Kambuzuma, Marlbereign, Marlborough, and Mt Pleasant, and Region Five which includes Borrowdale, Hatcliff, Highlands, Greendale, Mabvuku, and Tafara.”

Added Mombeshora: “Government is in the process of mobilizing resources for the provision of clean potable water. I am informed that the supply of clean potable water had drastically dropped from 350 mega litres a day to 200 mega litres a day.

“The government will soon move in to provide water chemicals for purification by the City Council. This situation has to improve. The provision of water is all-important in alleviating blockages of sewer systems. When we have solid waste not being flushed, such challenges are inevitable.”