Patients await treatment at a makeshift cholera clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe, yesterday. Reuters
Zimbabwe has declared a cholera outbreak in the capital, Harare, after 20 died from the disease and more than 2000 people were infected after drinking contaminated water, Health Minister Obadiah Moyo announced.

Harare city council has struggled to supply water to some suburbs for more than a decade, forcing residents to rely on water from open wells and community boreholes.

The latest cholera outbreak came after burst sewers in Budiriro and Glenview suburbs contaminated water in boreholes and open wells used by residents, said Moyo, flanked by Harare’s new mayor and other health officials.

“We are declaring an emergency for Harare to contain cholera and typhoid. We don’t want any further deaths,” Moyo said yesterday after touring a hospital treating patients.

The sale of meat and fish by vendors in the affected suburbs had been banned and police had been asked to enforce the ban, Moyo said.

The government had also suspended classes at some schools in two suburbs at the epicentre of the outbreak and had asked for help from UN agencies and private companies to supply portable water. Reuters