WITH the coming of rainy seasons each year, contamination of water sources and surroundings together with washing away of pit latrines usually exacerbate the risk factors of cholera outbreaks.
For those who may know it, cholera is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated water and which usually strikes during the rainy season.
It is a disease that has learned how to survive in the any milieu, especially the ones heaving with filth.
While many diseases are spread largely by human conduction, the bacteria that cause cholera wait in the environment, breaking out and sickening people only when an exact blend of conditions materializes.
But despite the treasure of statistics on cholera epidemics in our cities and towns in Zambia, nobody knows when unerringly they will occur and can catch exposed residents unprepared.
In October 2017, Zambia affirmed an outbreak of cholera in the Zambian capital, Lusaka which later claimed scores of lives and had had to employ men and w9men in uniform to clean up the town to halt the killer disease.
The cholera outbreak affected Chipata, Kanyama, Chawama, Matero, Chilenje and Chelstone townships, forcing government to set up Treatment Centres in Chipata, Kanyama, Matero and Bauleni.
It was reported that one third of those cases were children under five years old and two thirds were persons five years and older.
The appeal therefore from Lusaka
Mayor Mr Miles Sampa to Lusaka residents to maintain cleanliness in their
environment to avoid cholera especially that the rains are just round the
corner, is benign and should be buoyed.
Speaking at the handover ceremony of 100 bags of cement from Kuma Investments Company Ltd towards the Leopards Hill Cemetery wall project, Mr Sampa said that Lusaka did not record any cholera cases last year and should therefore aim at having zero cases this year.
“The rains are only about a month away and cholera is a disease that comes from being dirty, so let’s ensure that we pick up all the garbage from our surroundings” he said.
This is contained in a statement
issued by Lusaka City Council public relations officer Lisa Ng’oma.
Mr Sampa stressed the importance of boiling water before drinking it in order to help curb diseases.
Mr Sampa that said he did not work alone to keep Lusaka clean but that involved other stakeholders to stop cholera from affecting people.
The Mayor said that he planned to focus on maximizing his efforts in Operation Ubusaka in order to keep Lusaka clean in the coming rainy season.
“I want to increase my activities in Operation Ubusaka so that even in 2019 we have no cholera,” he said.
Frankly Mr Sampa deserves listening ears from all Lusaka residents, especially our usual street vendors who are always in the depraved habit of throwing litter anywhere.
This breed of people has no toilet facilities; they urinate and defecate anywhere, thereby growing chances of outbreaks of killer cholera when rains come.
We think the onus is also on his Lusaka City Council (LCC) to up its waste collection game, especially in the straggly townships where garbage is left uncollected for months.
As a result, many residents have without any sense of infamy or care, opted to throw garbage in roads, thereby aggravating the risks of cholera outbreak when the rains finally land.
Let us heed the trepidations of our Mayor and preclude cholera in our capital city.