Harare Metropolitan Provincial and Devolution Permanent Secretary, Tafadzwa Muguti has issued an order to close unlicensed and unclean food outlets following a recent cholera outbreak in the capital.
Addressing journalists in Harare on Monday, Muguti also revealed that teams had been deployed to inspect and address the issue of unprotected wells in certain areas.
“During this outbreak, all local authorities have been directed to implement the following measures, stop unlicensed and unclean food outlets from operating in open spaces, require all ships, restaurants, and food outlets to have clean toilets equipped with running water, ensure all schools provide toilets with running water and soap for proper hand hygiene among schoolchildren, and mandate all office buildings and workspaces to have functional toilets with running water and soap,” said Muguti.
Muguti further emphasized the repercussions of shallow wells and shallow Blair toilets being dug near cabins, which could negatively impact the water table.
“We have identified specific areas where cholera outbreaks originated, and our teams are working to rectify the situation either by closing those wells or implementing appropriate interventions.”
The Harare metropolitan area has now recorded the second-highest number of cholera cases since the outbreak began three months ago, with Manicaland being the most severely affected, reporting 481 cases.
As a result, the province of Manicaland has expanded its anti-cholera efforts to include surveillance of funerals and other gatherings. Other provinces that have reported cholera cases include Matabeleland South (231), Mashonaland West (121), Mashonaland Central (80), and Masvingo (41).
In Harare, the majority of cholera cases have been reported in Budiriro, Glen View, Dzivaresekwa, Mount Pleasant, Mbare, and Waterfalls.
The closure of unlicensed and unclean food outlets, along with the implementation of proper sanitation measures, aims to curb the spread of the waterborne disease in the capital.