The effects of drinking contaminated water go beyond gastroenteritis and skin conditions for Luveve residents who drank contaminated water in May this year.
The residents say memory loss, kidney failure, severe stomach pains among other major health problems have emerged.
Residents who spoke to Infocus News narrated an emergence of health complications despite receiving medical assistance to treat gastroenteritis.
A woman who spoke on condition of anonymity said most of her family members had developed health complications that are affecting their vital organs.
“Several residents have developed other sicknesses that we initially did not have. I was surprised when my two-year-old baby was recently diagnosed with Tuberculosis,” she said.
“My other children are suffering from memory loss and I am certain they are now suffering from a mental health condition. Some residents suffered from a skin problem that caused their lips to crack and skin to peel off, leaving behind botched, parched parts,” she added.
Patience Mungwiro, a lactating mother said she was not able to breastfeed her baby due to swollen breasts.
“I am still not able to breastfeed my child because my breasts are swollen. Ever since I drank this water, I have been feeling weak so much that I am failing to even take good care of my child,” said Mungwiro.
“When I told my husband, he took me to the clinic for help but not much has changed as I am still experiencing problems,” she added.
Soneni Hlabangani said residents are still demanding answers from the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) as the outbreak had severely damaged their health.
“As residents we still need answers from the Council. The issue has been neglected now but as residents we still want those answers because we have and are still suffering from the after effects of the water we consumed in May,” she said.
Residents are adamant that the outbreak was a result of the Council’s incompetence which has caused loss of lives.
Gogo Nitta Mangena, said she had lived all her life in Luveve and has never experienced such a dilemma caused.
“I have lived in Luveve all my life but I have never seen people die from drinking water. A lot of people are still sick here and most of them have developed ailments which have damaged their entire bodies,” said Mangena.
Mangena added: “Some of these residents cannot afford to buy water to drink everyday because they have to take care of their sick family members and put food on the table at the same time. I urge the Council to be transparent with residents and deal with the water situation once and for all.”
Luveve residents call upon the City Council to account for the loss of lives and give them a full report of the real cause of their sicknesses. Luveve suburb has been exempted from the 144 hour water rationing scheme to help manage the outbreak.
Source: Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD)