BULAWAYO, December 18, 2008
— World Vision is set to drill 25 new boreholes fitted with hand pumps, rehabilitate 20 existing boreholes and unblock sewerage fixtures following a significant funding boost from the Swedish government, through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
The funding from SIDA will complement ongoing water and sanitation projects aimed at improving the supply of clean and safe water and sanitation in the major southern city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
“Our prime focus right now is in the areas that are hardest hit by the outbreak,” said Robert Mukuwe, World Vision's water and sanitation coordinator.
Meanwhile, David Ndou, Bulawayo City Council Senior Engineer, warned that “Bulawayo is approaching a catastrophic crisis where the council has water treatment chemicals to last [only] until the first week of the new year. If no water chemicals are sourced, the city’s 1.2 million residents are at risk of being exposed to unsafe water, making them vulnerable to cholera infection."
Ndou added that “on a daily basis, 800 sewer blockages are reported, and the municipality does not have the capacity to deal with them due to lack of equipment, protective clothing and no work force due to poor remuneration.”
World Vision has also rehabilitated high yielding boreholes in urban Bulawayo as well as provided water harvesting rain tanks to schools and households to ensure access to safe sources of water for public and domestic use.
Bulawayo has recorded fewer of the outbreak than other cities, in part due to the drilling and rehabilitating of boreholes in the city before the cholera outbreak began. As of today, Bulawayo had recorded 249 cholera cases and 12 deaths, with most of the infected having recently travelled out of the city, particularly to Beitbridge and Harare.
ENDWorld Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit worldvision.org/press.