ALMOST all wells and half the boreholes in Harare are contaminated with E. coli, contributing to the incidence of water-borne diseases and making the capital a cholera hotspot.
According to Harare City Council epidemiologist, Dr Michael Vere, one of the main reasons for contamination is that all the city’s sewage effluent is deposited in its western district, resulting in 90 percent of cholera cases.
Lake Chivero, the main water source, is also highly polluted, making cleaning the water very expensive.
“Some boreholes are contaminated with a sewer which needs a purifier installed. In the western district, 100 percent of the wells are contaminated and 50 percent of boreholes are contaminated as well,” said Dr Vere.
Glen View, Glen Norah, Budiriro, Highfield, Mufakose and surrounding farms make up the western district and they are usually the main cholera hotspots in the city.
Dr Vere called for improved hygiene among men in the city, saying poor hygiene in males was evident in the disparity of cholera infection being higher in men.
“More men are infected with cholera as compared to women, with 58 percent of males and women at 42 percent.
“As a council, we are now taking the messages to areas where men converge.”