Widespread Cholera Outbreak in Zimbabwe is a Humanitarian Crisis


Zimbabwe is encountering a severe water and humanitarian crisis. Two weeks ago, the High Court in Zimbabwe shut down because of a lack of water supply. And, over the last month, approximately 8,887 people have contracted cholera and 366 people have died. Four large hospitals and many local clinics in the country have closed or turn away new patients because of a lack of medical supplies.

The cholera outbreak is spreading fast because of poor water and sanitation conditions around the country. Government-run water 16-09-2008choleratreatment facilities have not imported enough chemicals for treatment, raw sewage is found in neighborhoods as sewer lines are broken, and many individuals do not have access to clean drinking water. There is no stable government in Zimbabwe to provide these basic governmental services.

Robert Mugabe, of the ZANU-PF party, held power in the country for the last 28 years. In March, Morgan Tsvangirai, of the Movement for Democratic Change, won the first round of elections. But after much violence and intimidation against his supporters, Tsvangirai decided to concede. Both parties agreed to a power-sharing agreement in September, but Mugabe did not grant Tsvangirai adequate access to governmental offices. Now the two leaders are attempting to discuss the power-sharing agreement in South Africa; meanwhile the country waits in despair.

Above photo courtesy: United Nations