Residents in Harare have criticized the authorities’ response to the cholera outbreak, calling for improved sanitation alongside the ongoing vaccination campaign.
“We appreciate the cholera vaccine rollout,” says Combined Harare Residents Association director Reuben Akilii, “but if we don’t fix the root causes, people will keep dying.”
Talking to Bustop-TV in an interview, Akilii painted a grim picture of old suburbs like Glenview, the outbreak’s epicenter, where sewage is everywhere and residents resort to using pit latrines due to malfunctioning toilets.
“This shows how older suburbs bear the brunt compared to low-density areas.”
“Vaccines are crucial, but we need the government and councils to work together and prioritize sanitation. Ignoring the core problem will only prolong the crisis we have in our urban areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Douglas Mombeshora acknowledges the challenge, highlighting the shortage of cholera vaccines.
“Many countries are struggling, and the vaccines just aren’t enough. We’re working with WHO and UNICEF to get fair distribution.”
While Zimbabwe awaits more doses, Mombeshora outlined a targeted approach, focusing on districts most affected by the outbreak.
But for residents like Akilii, a broader solution is paramount. “We need a permanent fix, not just temporary relief! Invest in sanitation, and we can finally overcome this crisis.”
“Vaccination is welcome, but without addressing the underlying sanitation issues, the fight against cholera is far from over,” Akili said.