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HomeNewsInnovative Man Utilizes Sewage to Produce Bricks Amid Cholera Scare

Innovative Man Utilizes Sewage to Produce Bricks Amid Cholera Scare

Benjamin Chigodora (38), a breadwinner with three children, has devised an innovative method of producing bricks using sewage water.

Faced with water scarcity as a pressing issue in Zimbabwe, Chigodora had to think outside the box to sustain his work as a bricklayer.

Recognizing that sewage water, though unsuitable for human consumption, could be utilized to create sturdy and long-lasting bricks, he embarked on an unconventional approach.

By blending sewage water with soil and other materials, Chigodora can mold bricks that are not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly.

His unique solution has not only enabled him to continue his work but has also offered a sustainable remedy to the water crisis in his community, Glenorah.

Nevertheless, Chigodora’s innovation carries potential risks to public health, particularly due to the resurgence of cholera.

Harare is currently grappling with a cholera outbreak, and the utilization of sewage water in brick-making presents significant hazards to Chigodora and those in close proximity.

Cholera is a waterborne disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, commonly found in contaminated water sources such as sewage.

In an interview with 263Chat, Chigodora acknowledged that the burst pipes in early January left him with limited options, as he needed to earn money to support his family.

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“Despite the ongoing outbreak, I have to take care of my family. Working with sewage is not new, as the same water leaking here flows directly to Mukuvisi River, located less than 200 meters away, and eventually returns as tap water,” he explained.

Chigodora emphasized his necessity to generate income and care for his family, stating, “I have no choice; molding bricks is what I do.”

His goal is to produce one thousand bricks per day, allowing him to earn US$120 per week.

Given that Chigodora is utilizing sewage water that may contain the cholera bacterium, there is a potential risk of him contracting the disease or spreading it to others.

Cholera manifests through severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration, which can prove fatal if left untreated.

Moreover, exposure to sewage water heightens the risk of spreading other waterborne diseases, including typhoid, hepatitis A, and dysentery.

To mitigate the chances of contracting or transmitting these diseases, individuals working with sewage must adhere to appropriate precautions.

This includes wearing protective clothing and gloves, practicing frequent handwashing, and thoroughly disinfecting any surfaces or equipment that come into contact with the sewage water.

As of June 7, 2023, the Ministry of Health’s cholera situation report indicates that the country has recorded 2,232 suspected cholera cases, with 15 confirmed deaths.

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Cholera remains a significant public health concern, particularly in developing countries with inadequate sanitation and hygiene practices.

However, with the implementation of proper prevention and treatment measures, cholera outbreaks can be controlled, minimizing the impact of the disease.

It is crucial for those involved in sewage-related work to regularly monitor the quality of the sewage water being utilized, ensuring its safety for brick-making purposes. Furthermore, prompt medical attention should be sought if any symptoms of waterborne illness arise.

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