Search This Blog

Friday, February 10, 2012

Malawi : Cholera in a Time of Floods

Article via IPS News, excerpt :

" They survived floods and witnessed the horrific scenes of their houses, livestock, household items and gardens being swept away at the end of January. Now, the people of the Nsanje and Chikhwawa districts on Malawi’s southern border with Mozambique are facing another menace; a cholera outbreak, which has already killed one child and infected up to 103 people.

Government officials have attributed the outbreak to the declining sanitation conditions compounded by the floods; up to 550 pit latrines were washed away in Nsanje alone; a district hardest hit by the floods.

Sewage from the latrines has contaminated water sources in the district including boreholes and dug- out wells thereby escalating the cholera incidents, according to the assistant Disaster Management Officer for Nsanje, Humphrey Magalasi.

"Almost every household in the rural parts of the district only uses a pit latrine. Everything that was in the latrines in the flooded areas has gone into the water sources," Magalasi told IPS.

Boreholes, dug-out wells, rivers and streams are the main water-sources in the rural parts of Malawi and people use them for all household chores. There are no taps in many villages.

Lucy Mateyu, 46, a single mother of seven children from Mulolo village in Nsanje, told IPS that the floods hit her village as she was preparing lunch for her family on Jan. 23, 2012."

No comments:

Post a Comment