Articles

Fresh cholera outbreaks"¦"¦just a tip of the iceberg

Reports have surfaced of fresh cholera outbreaks in the country with
21 confirmed cases, five deaths since September 2009 and a case
fatality rate of 4, 3% according to the Ministry of Health and Child
welfare. The pandemic, which wreaked havoc in Zimbabwe during the
2008-2009 rainy season claiming more than 4,300 lives, was caused by
the consumption of contaminated water, poor sewer reticulation and
inconsistent refuse collection.

The Tibaijuka report, released in 2005   following an assessment of the
effect of Operation Murambatsvina/ Restore Order by United Nations
Envoy Ms. Anna Tibaijuka revealed that over crowdedness, caused by the
government's failure to relocate families displaced during the
operation, was a breeding ground for the spread of 'communicable
diseases', among them, cholera. The pandemic has hit hard in over
populated high density suburbs in Harare which include Budiriro, Glen
Norah and Glen View and other parts of the country including Pfupajena
in Chegutu.

Following the containment of the cholera pandemic in early 2009, the
United Nations warned that, because the root causes of this pandemic
had not been solved, the country was likely to experience recurrence
of the pandemic.

With the current rainy season in full swing, the
cholera pandemic is set to devastate mostly low income families whose
access to borehole water and bottled water is limited. Although
government attempted to solve the problems by replacing old water
pipes, over crowdedness, water woes, poor sewer reticulation and
failure to consistently rid the city of litter is a breeding place for
the pandemic.

The fresh cholera outbreaks are just a tip of the iceberg in
Zimbabwe's crisis nine months after the formation of the inclusive
government.

The education sector, whose long awaited resuscitation
remains a farfetched dream, is riddled with uncertainty. Most Ordinary
and Advanced level students, who were slated to write examinations
this year, failed to register owing to failure by parents to raise the
required examination fees set at USD10 and USD20 a subject for
Ordinary and Advanced level students. Most parents, particularly in
rural areas who depend on subsistence farming, failed to raise the
required amounts.

Those who managed to register for the exams have not
yet received their examination schedules, two days before exams are
set to commence.

These developments come amid continued bickering within the Inclusive
Government and failure by the political parties to meet the 15 day
deadline set by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) for
the resolution of outstanding issues at the 30 October 2009 SADC
summit in Mozambique.

The continued failure by negotiators to meet and
resolve underlying problems within the inclusive government could
ultimately cripple the progress of Zimbabwe towards an enhanced social
and economic landscape.

It is thus prudent for the MDC and ZANU PF to
resolve pending issues in the GPA and move forward in a uniformed
manner towards a better Zimbabwe.

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