At least 33 people have died in the ongoing cholera outbreak in Dar and the United Nations says over 2,600 people have become ill, highlighting the desperate need for access to clean water.
“Dar es Salaam is the epicenter of the Cholera outbreak, even the cases we have seen in other regions can all be traced back to Dar es Salaam,” says assistant director of Environment at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Khalid Massa.
Countrywide 21 more deaths and nearly a thousand more patients with excessive diarrhea have been reported, says the United Nations.
“Cholera transmission continues, particularly in Dar es Salaam … assuring adequate safe water to effectively control the outbreak therefore remains a major challenge,” says the UN report, noting that water and sanitation infrastructure in the affected neighborhoods was weak.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare began installing water filters donated by building supply company Nabaki Afrika to ensure no contaminated water was getting into homes in cholera affected areas.
“Since contaminated water is the leading cause of cholera, Nabaki Afrika’s filters will be an effective tool in checking the disease’s spread across the affected parts of Dar es Salaam,” says Massa.
Last month, Dawasco CEO Cyprian Luhemeja indicated to the Citizen newspaper that there were ‘many’ illegal water connections through sewerage lines in areas affected by cholera.
The 1,000 filters donated by Nabaki Afrika which fit onto regular Dawasco taps have a lifespan of approximately one year and cost approximately 11,000 TSH ($5 USD) each.