Sallomy Matare Herald Reporter
The World Bank is set to conduct a study on the geospatial analysis of cholera outbreak hotspots and mitigating measures for Harare.
According to the recent minutes of Environmental Management Committee, Harare City Council approved the proposal at a full council meeting held last week.
“The study will concentrate on water, waste water, waste management, stormwater drain management, heath services and relevant issues in the epicentre and surrounding areas and will make use of GIS,” reads the minutes.
The study’s main objective is to identify main outbreak hotspots around Harare and influence mitigating measures by concentrating on identified hotspots.
With sufficient data, the study will spearhead implementation of effective measures to alleviate the outbreak of cholera and other water-borne diseases.
The measures will include provision of piped water premises, as well as improving accessibility to water and sanitation services.
“City of Harare officials will work closely with the World Bank team to facilitate technical skills exchange,” read the minutes.
The proposal follows a series of cholera outbreaks that hit Harare and other parts of the country, with the most recent outbreak in September last year claiming 49 lives, and leaving thousands more needing treatment.
Recently, Higherlife Foundation said it is set to plough over US$225 million into Harare’s water and sanitation sectors as part of broader efforts to fight water-borne diseases like cholera and typhoid.
Harare and Higherlife are working on a Cholera Strategic Plan 2019-2025, which is set to change the way council does its business. As part of the strategy, Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba is expected to make an announcement to the city that council has adopted a new way of doing business and highlight key areas of focus and implementation. Benchmarking and skills audit are some of the thematic areas set to be introduced in council.
Higherlife Foundation is a family foundation established by Econet Wireless founder Strive Masiyiwa anf his wife Tsitsi.
Harare City Council says it is prepared to deal with any cholera outbreak in the city, saying it has a surveillance team monitoring all suburbs, while water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and health teams were activated and put on high alert.