By REBECCA MUSHOTA –
MUFULIRA District authorities have managed to contain the water contamination problem that threatened hundreds of lives about two weeks ago.
This was revealed during the Copperbelt epidemics preparedness, prevention, control and management meeting held in Ndola on Tuesday.
Acting Mufulira District community medical officer Charles Chiponda said his office and the water utility company in Mufulira had managed to control the problem of contaminated water that led to the district recording 33 cases of dysentery.
Dr Chiponda said the problem that lasted for a couple of weeks in November to December was caused by a technical problem in the way the water and sewer pipelines were built.
A number of residents in Kawama West had noticed the contamination in the water in November this year and a test was done on the water pipeline known as Mutamba on November 25, this year.
On November 27, faecal matter was found in the water that was tested.
The pipeline was cut off on December 3, this year and the residents of Kawama West were connected to another water line.
“The source of the problem is that the sewer line on this Mutamba pipeline is built on top of the water line. And yet, it should be built the other way round,” Dr Chiponda said.
He said the matter was under control and ways were being sought to ensure that there was no such problem in the future.
Dr Chiponda said there was a committee to conduct surveillance on water problems in Mufulira to prevent epidemics.
Earlier, in the meeting, Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Stanford Msichili said the quality of water residents consumed on the Copperbelt was the major cause of epidemics.
He said Mufulira had caused him concern when he heard that residents’lives were threatened by contaminated water a few weeks ago.
Mufulira is a district that is notorious for water borne diseases over the years.
This year, it has recorded 17 cases of confirmed typhoid and in 2011 to 2012, a township called Mupambe recorded 3,738 cases of the same disease.
It also recorded a high number of cholera cases in 2011.