The Harare Metropolitan provincial authorities have ordered the closure of all unlicensed and unclean food outlets in the four local authorities of Greater Harare as Harare reports 307 cases of cholera in various suburbs, ranging from overcrowded Mbare to leafy Mount Pleasant.
The metropolitan province now has the second-highest number of cholera cases since the outbreak began three months ago, with Manicaland reporting the highest number of cases. Other provinces that have reported cases include Matabeleland South, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, and Masvingo. The province is implementing a range of prevention measures, including the closure of dubious food outlets. Harare Metropolitan Provincial and Devolution Permanent Secretary Mr Tafadzwa Muguti said:
During this outbreak all local authorities have been directed to stop all unlicenced shops and unclean food outlets from operating in open spaces.
All shops, restaurants and food outlets to have clean toilets with running water.
The local authorities are Harare City Council, Chitungwiza Municipality, Epworth Local Board and Ruwa Local Board.
The Harare Metropolitan authorities have called on schools and office buildings to ensure that toilets have running water and soap. The area is facing two major problems related to water and sanitation.
The proliferation of unplanned and illegal settlements without sewers and piped water, and the run-down state of Harare City Council’s water purification plants, which operate at only half their capacity. The council is attempting to rectify these issues by closing down contaminated wells and distributing non-food items to prevent the spread of disease.
Cholera outbreaks continue to plague Zimbabwe. In Manicaland, village health workers are conducting disease surveillance and education, while officials are monitoring public gatherings to contain the spread. Mashonaland West is struggling to provide medical attention to a community rooted in religious belief, leading to resistance to scientific solutions.
Health experts are providing water samples, aqua tabs, and disinfection, and raising cholera awareness. The government has activated civil protection units, provided supplies, and offered refresher training for health workers.