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Real threats of waterborne diseases plague rural Zimbabwe

Humanitarians fear waterborne diseases will soon run rampant in rural areas of Zimbabwe, due to a lack of proper hygiene facilities and access to clean water, IRIN reports.

Heavy rains started a few weeks ago and since then, dirty, stagnant water runs through the camp in Mhondoro which is home to hundreds of former farmers.

According to the news source, waterborne diseases can spread through poor hygiene, or using contaminated water. In Mhondoro alone, all of the pit latrines are overflowing and many people have taken to relieving themselves in the open, as there are no other sanitary options. People may start to go to the bathroom near the rivers and streams. This can then contaminate the water that many residents still think is clean.

"The boreholes that were drilled in the 1980s have broken down and only a few that were sunk in recent years still function while, due to poor rains, it is difficult to sink new wells," David Shoniwa, a resident in the Dema village, told the publication. "When the rains fall, people turn to the rivers for water to drink and use for cooking, thereby exposing themselves to the diseases carried by the human waste.

Local humanitarian groups are coming up with new ways to both fix the broken sanitary facilities and bring in supplies to offer food security and safe, drinkable water to local residents. 
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