Cholera and floods in Zambia

Zambia has suffered in recent weeks from the outbreak of a cholera epidemic that started in October 2017. The disease, which is transmitted mostly through contaminated water or infected food, causes severe diarrhea and vomiting and, as a result, dehydration. Since then, more than 3,800 people in the country have been infected and at least 83 people have died. The two-week measures taken in January, particularly in the densely populated capital of Lusaka, such as the ban on public gatherings, the closure of public wells, markets, schools, churches, bars, etc., along with the vaccination of more than 1 million people for cholera and other measures taken by the WHO (World Health Organization) and NGOs, the outbreak of cholera in Zambia is contained.

Zambia is currently struggling with another situation – heavy rains and their consequences. Several regions of the country, including Kabwe, were partially flooded. Due to the use of mainly loam as construction material and / or already existing building damage, the rains and floods have severely damaged or even partially collapsed many houses and forced families to leave home for safety reasons. These families are currently living with neighbors or relatives, as their homes are uninhabitable and their home furnishings and personal belongings have been damaged by the rain.

In addition, wells were closed due to cholera or polluted or destroyed by the floods. Therefore, the inhabitants of Kabwe are currently reliant on the few remaining open waterholes in front of which are long queues each day.

Our local team visited a few of the districts in Kabwe and the families to obtain a real image of the situation and the extent of the damage. One gets an impression of the situation from the photos taken by our team and which can be seen on the right.

The affected people urgently need support for the purchase of water filters and food as well as for the reconstruction of their homes. We want to help them in the short term with our hygiene-scholarship and living space-scholarship. In the long term, we want to contribute to solving the problem through the construction of stable and functional residential buildings as part of our social housing project.