Zimbabwe typhoid outbreak result of water shortages

An outbreak of typhoid in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, is the result of water shortages and sewer issues, according to an official with the country's health ministry.

The ministry is attempting to stop the outbreak of the bacterial disease from becoming a nationwide crisis after confirming reports of new typhoid cases in the high-density suburb of Harare. With water shortages and sewage problems, residents have been forced to drink unsafe water, which allowed for the disease to spread, SW Radio Africa reports.

"We know the city health authorities have tried to contain the disease and a lot has been done to stop the spread," Simbarashe Moyo, the chairman of the Combined Harare Residents Association, said, according to SW Radio Africa. "But in Chitungwiza there are burst sewers everywhere, there is sewage on the streets. And there is not a lot of clean water. So we're not surprised."

Chitungwiza is nearly completely dependent on clean water reserves from Harare, but as a result of millions of dollars in unpaid water bills, city officials have cut off the reserves.

"So there are a combination of factors that have led to this," Moyo said, according to SW Radio Africa. "But right now, the authorities should do something to stop this from getting worse."