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S’AFRICA: Cholera-hit town blames govt for deadly outbreak

A grieving family gathers in their yard in a town near Pretoria, the epicentre of a deadly cholera outbreak, mourning the death of a relative, one of 17 people killed by the disease in just days.

They are seething with anger, blaming the government in Africa’s most advanced economy for failing to solve their perennial water woes.

Kagiso Sadiki cannot remember a time when Hammanskraal’s tap water was fit for consumption. His 53-year-old cousin Michael Sadiki died within a week of falling ill.

The tap water is brown and dirty, the 37-year-old told AFP.

“Everybody has the right to have clean water,” he said, visibly distressed, sitting under a lemon tree.

“I hope my cousin’s death is not in vain.”

South Africa recorded its first two cholera cases in February on the back of outbreaks in nearby Mozambique and Malawi, the two most severely affected countries in 2023, according to the UN.

On Wednesday, the provincial department of health said since last week, 165 people have visited a local hospital in Hammanskraal with symptoms including diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.

Lab tests have confirmed two dozen cases of cholera and 17 people have died, the department said.
The infection is showing “a very high fatality rate,” said Sandile Buthelezi, health ministry director general.

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Naija Times