The Water Utilities Corporation says there has been detected the presence of the vibrio cholerae bacterium in the Shashe Dam which is located near Tonota Village.
WUC Head of Public Relations, Matida Mmipi, says following the Ministry of Health’s public notices in recent months on the outbreak of cholera in some of Botswana’s neighbouring countries, the Corporation has constantly monitored all its water sources for the bacterium.
The transmission of cholera occurs through the ingestion of water and or food contaminated with the vibrio cholerae bacterium. Contamination usually occurs through human excrement.
“The bacterium can, however, be eliminated from water through effective treatment methods. The Water Utilities Corporation would like to reassure the public that its water is treated to the highest standard and tests have revealed that all its treated water remains free of the vibrio cholerae bacterium,” said Mmipi.
WUC says in light of this development, they will, with immediate effect restrict all movement into the Shashe Dam and its environs and extend the non-fishing season at Shashe Dam, which was scheduled to end on 28 February 2009 until further notice.
WUC says to curb the spread of the vibrio cholera bacterium the public is advised to observe strict hygiene through avoiding contact with non-treated water, keeping their water sources free from contamination through proper disposal of human excrement, keeping water safe and free from contamination after it has been removed from the WUC water distribution system into storage tanks and/or buckets and avoiding cross connections between the WUC water distribution network and auxiliary water sources such as garden water storage tanks.
The public is further advised to wash their hands with soap after every visit to the toilet and to maintain high hygienic conditions for food handling.
“The Corporation would like to reassure the public that it will continue with periodic water sampling and analysis to monitor water quality throughout the water supply and distribution network,” said Mmipi.