Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One of our staff told me that over the weekend the Parirenyatwa (formerly Salisbury General, later ‘Andrew Fleming’) and Harare Hospitals were both closed. The patients still there were ‘evicted’ and had to find relatives to come and take them home. The streets could be seen with the now almost ubiquitous ‘scotch carts’ that are used by entrepreneurs to carry goods. The scotch cart which varies in size and sophistication is hauled, not by an ox or a donkey, but by a man. If the load is heavy, several men. On Sunday the scotch carts and their haulers were seen carrying patients from the two hospitals.

We are also told that several fatal cases of cholera have occurred over the week in some of the ‘high density’ suburbs. The Minister (coincidentally Dr David Parirenyatwa) was reported yesterday on ZBC news to be ‘highly concerned about the cholera outbreak’. Today we are told that he has ‘put in place measures to control it’, but what measures we do not know.

The problem of course is the lack of water in the city, caused, not by the lack of water but by the lack of water treatment chemicals and limited pumping capacity as the aging water works degenerate. The hospitals have been closed because they have no water. The cholera is the result of un-potable wells sprouting up (or is it down) all over the high density suburbs as people do whatever they must do to find water to drink, to wash.

For us, tomorrow is a red-letter day. The water that we ordered a month ago from ‘Orca for Water’ is due to be delivered to our empty 5,000 litre storage tank – at a cost of US$60. We are the lucky ones. We have the tank and the US$60.

No comments: