Traditional leaders in areas affected by cholera last year in Mtandire, Mitengo and Mtsiriza in Lilongwe have warned of an impending cholera outbreak if government does not devise intervention measures.
The leaders on Monday courted city council and health officials seeking assistance before the start of the next rainy season.
“Soon after the cholera outbreak, residents in my area were supplied with treated water supplied by Unicef. After the outbreak was contained, Unicef withdrew the clean and safe water. We fear that once the rains start, there could be another outbreak,” said group village head Mitengo during the meeting.
Village heads Mtsiliza and Chimbalame were equally worried and want government to act before the rains starts.
“We are afraid of a repeat of what happened. That is why we mobilised ourselves to seek government interventions. We are really scared,” said Chimbalame.
Groundwater development assistant in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Grace Maseko said only piped water can be a lasting solution.
“Because of so many pit latrines here, wells and boreholes get contaminated. A borehole is supposed to be 100 metres from the nearest pit latrine,” she said.
Lilongwe district environmental health officer Samson Kumphale said the immediate intervention is provision of chorine or water guard to treat the unclean water.
He said Lilongwe Water Board management recommended that places like Mitengo and Mtsiriza needed new water tanks, a project which might take some time to complete.