Cholera outbreaks along Lake Chad affect multiple countries
Sep 7, 2011
Cholera in countries that surround Lake Chad have killed at least 1,200 people this year and that figure continues to rise, IRIN reports.
Cholera typically spreads in areas of poor sanitation, where people have limited access to purified water. Lake Chad, which is bordered by Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria is a large problem for people in these areas, as there have been over 38,000 cases in the region this year alone, according to the news outlet.
And with the rainy season still to come, many humanitarian groups are worried that cases will escalate as water sources typically get contaminated during the heavy downpours.
Lake Chad is home to much of the regions way of living - commerce, fishing and farming for 11 million people, according to a report from UNICEF. Because of this, there needs to be a better plan set up to prevent further outbreaks as so many citizens from each country mingle in this one area daily.
"A cross-border, decentralized approach is necessary to protect each country's population and nip outbreaks in the bud," François Bellet, UNICEF regional water and sanitation specialist for west and central Africa told the news outlet.
While the Chadian government issued a statement saying, "Cholera hits families' revenue and brings recurrent health expenses - all of this deepens poverty and under-development."