Water crisis leads to disease outbreak

Wednesday September 17 2008

By GALGALO BOCHA

An outbreak of waterborne diseases has been reported in several locations in Tana Delta District.

More than 40,000 residents were recently left without a reliable source of water after River Tana changed its course.

A senior health official, who requested anonymity, told the Nation that cases of diarrhoea had been recorded among residents of Kibusu, Ngao Wachu-Oda, Galili, Kipao, Chara and Kone Mansa locations after a week of water shortage.

“At least 50 cases have been reported at Ngao Sub-district Hospital after residents of Garsen and Ngao shopping centres and Kibusu, Semikaro, Shirikisho and Ozi villages visited the institution for treatment,” he said.

He said the affected residents and their livestock had been depending on “scanty” water sources left in the old river course.

“The people have been experiencing diarrhoea and also complaining of stomach pains and are from different villages in the district,” he said.

The officer said that surveillance teams had been deployed within the district with residents being sensitised on the importance of treating drinking water.

Cholera

But he said a laboratory test carried out by the Government Chemist in Mombasa had posted negative for cholera and dysentery.

The health officer said the Government had donated three million water purification tablets as well as chlorine powder to treat drinking water in the affected area.