FULL TEXT: Bulawayo City Council On Suspected Contaminated Water In The City
12 June 2020
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The City of Bulawayo has received complaints on suspected contamination of drinking water from residents. When complaints are received by the Municipality, the water quality teams which include the Water Quality laboratory and Environmental Health officers are dispatched to take samples, test and recommend correctional measures.

In the instance of Luveve and all other areas where reports have been received, the teams were dispatched to test for quality. Duc to water-shedding, samples were taken from the containers (buckets) in the households which were being used for potable use. The results of these were unsatisfactory indicating bacterial presence. The teams were dispatched to these areas to conduct awareness and education campaigns on water storage and safety.

Samples were collected from Municipal sampling points in the same areas and the water quality was satisfactory. There was notable inconsistency between the two sources (Household and Municipal Water) hence the encouragement by the City of Bulawayo for residents to boil their drinking water especially during the period of intermittent water supply.

Rectal swabs were also taken and sent to the Laboratory and nothing was detected in terms of notifiable diseases such as Cholera and Typhoid. The City is yet to receive a report from the other laboratories and health facilities as specified in the Public Health Act on notifiable diseases.

We have teams on the ground that are currently investigating the source of the diarrhoea! outbreak and we are also liaising with various medical institutions in the City.

The City of Bulawayo continues to monitor water quality, ensure corrective measures as per norm where there are irregularities and also advises residents to take precautionary measures by using safe sources of water for potable use.

Residents are encouraged to use appropriate containers in storing water, store water safely, practise good hygiene especially in handling water and boil water for drinking.

What containers should be used to store water,

• Water should be collected and stored in thoroughly sanitized food-grade plastic or glass containers.

• First, wash the inside and outside of each container with soap and hot water.

• Finally, rinse thoroughly with plain clean water.

• Avoid using milk containers because they can be hard to clean. Bacteria can grow quickly in a milk container contaminating the water stored in it.