Event Report

Base data

Event code CI-WAT/03809/ZWE
Main category Critical Infrastructure Disruption
Sub category water supply
Event date (UTC) Tue, 11 May 2021 04:30:43 +0000
Last update (UTC) Tue, 11 May 2021 04:30:43 +0000


Continent Africa
Country Zimbabwe
Administration area Multiple location
Exact location Greater Harare and Bulawayo regions
Open Location Code: 5GHF5CRH+RR
Size of affected area Multi-states event
Additional events Epidemic Hazard - Epidemic hazard - Level 2

Common Alerting Protocol Information

Urgency Past
Certainty Observed
Severity Extreme
Category Infra

Event details

Unicef has warned of the possibility of an outbreak of waterborne diseases in Bulawayo and Harare as the cities are failing to manage their water reticulation systems. The UN agency said diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid are likely to be recorded in the two cities. The warning follows the death of 13 people after typhoid and dysentery outbreak in Bulawayo’s Luveve suburb and surrounding areas that resulted in nearly 2 000 getting sick last year. The cause of the outbreak was identified as a gastrointestinal disease which was attributed to vandalism of sewer pipes. A report tabled in Parliament last year compiled by the Auditor-General Mrs. Mildred Chiri also said Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is among six local authorities at risk of an outbreak of waterborne diseases that could lead to deaths due to failure to manage sewer reticulation systems. On its part, Unicef said in its latest report, while 2021 began with prospects of a better harvest due to improved rainfall and a reduction in severe food insecurity, the country could face a health crisis. Bulawayo and Harare were singled out over the possibility of water-borne disease outbreaks. “Unicef procured emergency supplies for prepositioning during the second quarter in preparation for sporadic outbreaks of diarrheal diseases, cholera, and typhoid that may occur particularly in Bulawayo and Harare provinces,” it said. As a result, the UN agency is offering Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) training in targeted cholera hotspots. No deaths have been recorded in the country due to waterborne diseases since the beginning of the year. “UNICEF is supporting refresher training and simulation exercises for Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) on cholera, typhoid, and other diarrheal diseases targeting 26 cholera hotspots. Sporadic typhoid fever cases have been reported in the country this year, mostly emanating from the Glenview suburb in Harare. A total of 26 suspected typhoid cases were reported in February and March 2021, cumulatively 38 cases,” said Unicef. In her report, the Auditor-General said maintenance and inspections of the sewer reticulation system are still inadequate in local authorities including Bulawayo and this affects the effectiveness of the flowing, collection, and treatment of wastewater, with the probable collapse of the whole system. She also said persistent bursting of sewerage pipes could result in an outbreak of fatal diseases. “Due to the failure by the urban local authorities to attend to blockages within the stipulated eight to 24 hours, raw sewage is lost into the environment before reaching the treatment plants thereby contaminating water bodies.
Authentic source : Information from trusted source (newspapers, emails, websites).

Situation update


Number of dead: 0 person(s)
Number of injured: 0 person(s)
Number of Affected: 0 person(s)
Number of Rescued/evacuated: 0 person(s)
Number of Missing: 0 person(s)
Number of Infected: 0 person(s)

Event Specific Details

[Critical Infrastructure Disruption - water supply]

Overview map

Risk Analisys

Nearest marine ports There is no known marine port nearby.
Nearest airports There is no known marine port nearby.
Nearest nuclear power plant There is no known nuclear power plant nearby.

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