Socialist Party (SP) Copperbelt Spokesperson Reagan Kashinga says the current cholera outbreak has dented President Hakainde Hichilema’s image as Global Cholera Control Champion conferred on him by the Global Task Force on Cholera Control in May 2022.
President Hichilema officially accepted the prestigious international appointment at the World Health Assembly, in Geneva, Switzerland at the time Zambia had not recorded a single cholera death in several months.
But the current cholera situation has seen Zambia record over 150 deaths since October 2023 with at least 850 people admitted in various centres countrywide.
In a written media statement, Mr. Kashinga said Cholera is spreading fast mainly because the Government has failed to provide safe and clean water to many Zambians.
“We all know the sacredness of human life. Now losing over 150 people in a short period of time is sad and regrettable plus 859 more are admitted countrywide. It is very sad that as a country nearly 60 years after independence we are still grappling with cholera year in year out. We have observed with concern that Cholera is spreading fast mainly due to lack of clean and safe drinking water among our people and the filth environment many Zambians live in,” Mr. Kashinga stated.
“We were also shocked to hear President Hakainde Hichilema declare that people should not drink water from shallow wells. The best thing President Hichilema and the UPND Government could do is provide piped, clean and safe drinking water to our people in various localities. No Zambian desires to drink or use water from shallow wells and streams. Our people are forced to use shallow wells plus streams because they have no access to piped, clean and safe drinking water,” he continued.
Mr. Kashinga charged that the fight against cholera is being negatively affected by poor nutrition among Zambians due to household hunger.
“The provision of clean and safe water is the surest way of preventing cholera. President Hichilema’s tag as global cholera ambassador has been dented by this cholera outbreak in his own country. We fear that the fight against corruption will be tough because of poor nutrition levels in many households compounded by hunger. Hunger in many households’ means people are not managing to meet nutrition needs. Imagine the impact of malnutrition and cholera. The Socialist Party is hereby reminding the UPND Government to fulfill its promise of taking clean and safe water closer to our people in various localities like Kansuswa in Mufulira, Ipusukilo in Kitwe, Chipulukusu in Ndola, Kapisha in Chingola, PPZ in Chililabombwe just to mention a few,” he said.
Mr. Kashinga further reminded the people of Zambia to play a part in fighting cholera.” Please wash your hands regularly, boil your drinking water, make your surroundings clean and use a toilet when answering the call of nature. The Socialist Party mourns with the people who have lost their loved ones due to Cholera.”