MDC calls for depoliticizing councils to combat cholera outbreak

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THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has noted political interferences preventing local councils to improve sanitation and water management, in fighting Cholera.

MDC media director, Edmond Miti blamed the failure of local councils, especially city and municipal ones, to address sanitation issues on politicization which has hindered effective service delivery.

Miti recommended for councils to be depoliticized and given the autonomy to tackle water and sanitation issues as cholera preparedness measures.

He noted systemic failures, particularly in sanitation and water access, as the true root cause of Cholera.

“As a party, we strongly believe that the epidemic outbreaks are no longer a medical problem but proof that our sanitation and water supply systems are not as effective as they should be,” remarked Miti.

Miti pinpointed Lusaka, the annual epicenter, as suffering from inadequate sanitation and water infrastructure due to unplanned settlements and informal vendors.

He therefore called for the council to build more public toilets to address sanitation needs beyond markets to prevent future outbreaks and implement laws that promote hygiene.

“We therefore want to implore authorities to enforce existing laws such as the Street Vending and Nuisances Statutory Instrument No. 12 of 2018,” he said.

“As well as making full use of the National Cleaning Day every Friday which should be made punishable for those that do not participate.”

The MDC expressed concern over Zambia being the first in Southern Africa to experience a cholera outbreak in 2023, claiming over 500 lives.

They urged authorities to learn from regional comparisons and improve sanitation efforts.

Miti said persistent cholera epidemic that has affected over 50 districts had potential to collapse healthcare systems if immediate remedial measures were not taken.

By Moses Makwaya

Kalemba January 28, 2023

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