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Zimbabwe seeking humanitarian aid to ward off waterborne diseases

The Zimbabwe government is reaching out for humanitarian aid as the nation is currently being threatened by numerous waterborne diseases set to reach epidemic levels, IRIN reports.

According to the publication, the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) issued a request for help on December 9, asking for $268 million in assistance in 2012 to help combat these growing sanitary and health problems.

CAP is asking for the money to help restore Zimbabwe's poorly managed water and sanitation sector. About 8 million, or two-thirds of the nation have little access to clean water or health clinics.

"A third of rural Zimbabweans still drink from unprotected water sources and are thus exposed to waterborne diseases," members of CAP said in the appeal. "While cholera incidence is significantly decreased compared to past years, localized outbreaks continued in 2011 due to poor infrastructure for water, sanitation, hygiene and health."

The appeal is necessary to help the country combat these issues, as a year-long cholera outbreak followed by hundreds of typhoid cases have left citizens fearful.

"The resurgence of waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera [although unconfirmed], the risk of malaria in the presence of collapsing waste management services and excessive heat, are equally disturbing developments," Cephas Zinhumwe, the head of the National Association of Non Governmental Organizations, told the news outlet.

Although the current situation is bleak, CAP officials are confident that if monetary support is given to install new water systems, health facilities and to provide food security, the nation can fix the problems.  
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