November 22, 2006

Control cholera outbreak or lose jobs, PM says

Prime Minister Edward Lowassa has given Dar es Salaam regional administrative officials two weeks to eradicate cholera or lose their jobs. Over the past 12 months, the disease has killed 117 people in the city, the nation's commercial capital. Cholera, a severe diarrhoeal disease caused by infection of the small intestine of humans with vibrio cholerae bacteria, has frequently broken out in the past three decades in Dar es Salaam and other parts of the country.

According to Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Abbas Kandoro, from 12 December 2005 to 20 November 2006, 11.227 people had contracted the disease in the region, of whom 117 died. Kandoro said that strict surveillance of the city's restaurants, hotels and bars would be undertaken. Furthermore, he said, the cultivation of vegetables within city limits, where farmers used suspected toxic water, would be banned. Vegetables were being planted in conduits for domestic sewers and industrial effluent that run into the sea.
Three years ago, researchers from the Tanzania National Environmental Management Council reported widespread deposits of fresh faeces along the Msimbazi Valley, a popular source of green vegetables. However, vegetable growers appealed to the Dar es Salaam authorities to provide them with modern wells to irrigate the area, rather than evicting them. (Independent Online, South Africa)


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