Cholera now in tsakane

Water from a canal in Tsakane has tested positive for cholera-related bacteria, the Greater Sekhukhune District Municipality said yesterday.

Water from a canal in Tsakane has tested positive for cholera-related bacteria, the Greater Sekhukhune District Municipality said yesterday.

Spokesman Frans Moswane said the municipality has brought in tanks to provide water to people in the area.

Moswane said 12 people have died from cholera in the district in the recent outbreak. A total of 19 deaths have been reported in Mpumalanga.

Tests had been conducted on water sources in villages situated along the Tubatse River near Burgersfort, and were found "not to be contaminated" with cholera, he said.

"The tests were conducted on samples taken from water sources in GaMampuru, GaPhasha, Steelpoort, Nazareth and Tsakane villages.

"Only water from a canal in Tsakane has tested positive for E-coli, a bacteria that contaminates water and develops into Vibrio Cholerae.

"E-coli and Vibrio Cholerae were found after tests were done on two samples from Tsakane," Moswane said.

"The fact that people are still obtaining water from the river is a problem for us."

He advised local residents to boil water before using it and follow the water purification procedures outlined by the health department.

"The problem is a breakdown of infrastructure ... it is a question of pipes, pumping machines which have been stolen ... we are not saying that this is what caused the problem but it is what has contributed to it."

The municipality would continue with its plans to deal with the water-borne disease, he said.

This included repairing broken water infrastructure, supplying water tankers to areas without proper infrastructure and conducting health and hygiene awareness throughout the district.

Moswane said the department would double its efforts to ensure the supply of quality water to areas not yet affected by cholera. - Sapa

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