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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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It's a time bomb

By unknown | Dec 10, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The people of Madimbo and surrounding areas near Musina are sitting on a cholera time bomb.

The results of tests run on the water of the nearby Nwanedi River show it's contaminated.

Though the Limpopo department of health and social development tried to play down reports that the water carries the deadly cholera disease that has left many residents ill, residents yesterday confirmed that those using the water fell ill.

The department announced earlier this week that the river was clear of cholera, as opposed to the Limpopo River, which according to the department tested positive.

But a visit to Madimbo yesterday proved the opposite of what the department had been saying.

On arrival at the local clinic a Sowetan team came across an ambulance carrying five patients who were being transferred to the Musina Hospital. They had used water from the river.

Community leader Fistos Mafela said there was a serious shortage of water. He said the problem started a long time ago. It was worst in Madimbo, Malale and Masea, which did not have running water.

Mafela said they had been relying on water delivered by water tankers, but that the water was not enough to cater for all residents of the three villages.

"Most of the villagers here are suffering from cholera. The situation is intolerable," Mafela said.

Nurses at the clinic, who spoke to Sowetan on condition of anonymity, confirmed the situation was so serious that they feared for their own lives.

The clinic is operating on a 24-hour basis but only treats chronic cases after 5pm.

Shenetai Gotore, 28, a Zimbabwean, was admitted to the clinic yesterday after dislocating her leg. She said she contracted the disease after she was admitted in a ward with cholera patients.


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