Barely a month after heavy rains and floods pounded the area and left many people homeless, Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP) is facing another crisis following a recent cholera outbreak in the area. The outbreak has already claimed two victims while 66 people have been admitted at Mount Darwin Hospital. In the last 10 years, Zimbabwe has suffered a number of outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera and typhoid with the most recent occurring in Gweru (typhoid) and Harare (cholera) this year. However, until now, all the outbreaks have been confined to towns and cities where there are poor water supplies and sanitation systems.
Speaking to H-Metro, UMP District Administrator Douglas Hungwa said,
As a district, we are on high alert when it comes to the cholera outbreak, as you are aware that we share a common border with Mashonaland Central and there is a lot of inter-district trading between Mt Darwin, Rushinga and UMP.
The District Medical Officer has promised us that there are enough stocks in terms of drugs in the event of any outbreak. We are also monitoring the situation on the ground considering that we also have artisanal miners especially along the Mazowe river where sanitation facilities are not up to scratch so we are on high alert.
Only last month, Hungwa appealed for donations to help people who had been left homeless by the floods. Said Hungwa then,
This disaster caught everyone unawares, but we have since convened a meeting at district level and alerted the provincial and national offices of this disaster. We have also approached several people in the district to help by donating whatever they can in terms of food and tents for those who were left homeless. So, we are working round the clock to make sure the affected families are assisted as soon as possible.
The area is a known Zanu-PF stronghold and is a no-go area for opposition parties.