BULAWAYO, 19 September 2007 (IRIN) - Desperate measures being taken by residents of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city, to cushion the effects of acute water shortages are aggravating the health problems of its 1.5 million residents.
Its a good thing we have OJ Simpson to worry about instead of having to think about things like this going on in the world.
Stringent water rationing has been introduced in a bid to make the contents of fast-dwindling dams last until the onset of the expected rains in November, but the municipal council acknowledges that the poor inflows of water into the southern city's reservoirs has led to an increase in waterborne diseases.
Council spokesperson Pathisa Nyathi told IRIN the "Council is making every effort to ensure those who have contracted diarrhoea receive treatment before more people are affected," but declined to disclose how many residents had suffered from waterborne diseases since the shortages began in earnest five months ago.
"We are praying that we do not get a cholera outbreak because that will be difficult to control, but as water shortages continue we are likely to get a cholera outbreak in the city, but as of now we are doing everything to contain the diarrhoea and dysentery cases," Nyathi said.
''The situation is critical and as water levels deteriorate, residents will be getting water once in every eleven days, and we expect this to happen as from the beginning of October''