Harare | The government of Zimbabwe has prohibited vendors from selling their goods in the central business districts (CBDs) of major cities as a response to the cholera outbreak.
Information Minister Jenfan Muswere stated that this decision is part of a broader strategy to control the spread of the waterborne disease. He said:
Government directs vendors be removed from the streets, gardens using raw sewer be destroyed, clean water be availed, mobile toilets be availed in the city centre, Civil Protection Act be activated to fight cholera.
Mitigatory measures being taken are the removal of food vendors selling or cooking food on the streets of Harare and Chitungwiza; bulk safe water trucking to western suburbs of Harare to enable access tosafe drinking water; health education campaigns; the removal of all dumpsites in Harare and Chitungwiza and reopening of public toilets.
Muswere also announced that the Treasury has released US$700,000 to clear waste dumpsites in Harare.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Zimbabwe has reported more than 7,000 cases of cholera and at least 142 deaths. In response to the outbreak, the government has banned vendors from operating in major cities, which has resulted in mixed reactions among informal traders.
Many vendors depend on vending as their main source of income and are worried about the ban’s economic consequences.
Some vendors feel that the ban unfairly targets them, as there has been a rise in cholera cases even in rural areas where there are no vendors.
Samuel Wadzai, the director of the Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation, has urged his members to follow the government’s instructions.
He emphasised the seriousness of the situation and encouraged vendors to comply with the upcoming regulations, NewsDay reported.
Wadzai disagreed with the notion that only vendors are responsible for spreading cholera and called for comprehensive education to address the issue.
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