ONGWEDIVA – Some parts of Omusati Region are supplied with water which either has low or no chlorine, and as such it does not meet the prescribed World Health Organisation (WHO) standards which require that potable water contain about 0.2-1.0mg/l of chlorine.
Low to no chlorine levels in water allow organisms such as disease-causing bacteria and viruses to flourish, thus compromising the health of people consuming such water.
It further serves as a potential route to transmit water-borne diseases, especially for water flowing long distances as it makes it prone to contamination.
Environmental health practitioner at the City of Windhoek Lion Kahimise thus urged local authorities and water utilities to ensure they provide chlorinated water to the communities in order to safeguard against water-borne diseases.
He said water flowing a distance should be chlorinated again before it’s consumed, as it loses its chlorine in the transportation system.
He however said that most of the cases of hepatitis E recorded in Omusati have a trail to or a link with someone from Havana informal settlement in Windhoek where the outbreak was first reported.
Kahimise and other officials were in the region for two weeks to render expertise to the Ministry of Health and Social Services following the hepatitis E outbreak at the end of last month.
The team held meetings with key stakeholders in the region to map the way forward to ensure that residents are provided with potable water.
“Other key stakeholders were not reachable despite efforts made by the delegation. The meetings were merely to sensitise the stakeholders on the importance of collaborative efforts in outbreak situations as we are all directly or indirectly affected by the outbreak,” said Kahimise.
Meanwhile, the City of Windhoek donated 10 mobile hand washing units which are to be distributed to the various local authorities and stakeholders in order to encourage hygiene amongst the region’s residents.
The number of confirmed cases in Omusati earlier this month stood at 13 while there were about 54 suspected cases.