VENDORS at Karonga’s main market are desperately seeking help from district council officials to repair a drainage system which they fear could contribute to more cases of cholera.
So far, up to seven people have died out of 333 who contracted the deadly water borne disease, according to official statistics.The vendors were forced to close shops
last Friday after the market was flooded by the blocked drainage system, reports the
Malawi news Agency, MANA.
Karonga Market Chairperson, Godwin Ghambi, said the problem of the poor
drainage system had been there for too long.
“We were forced to close our shops as water flooded all over the market. This has been a long outstanding issue,but the council is doing nothing to address the problem,” said Ghambi.
Another vendor, Samson Mbewe added his concern: “The market can be a breeding hub
for cholera if left unattended.”
Mbewe also pointed out that people are scared of buying fresh foods which are sold in the market due to the poor sanitation.
Karonga District Council chairperson,Harry Mwanyembe, however, pushed the blame back to the vendors, accusing them of practicing poor waste management.
“The vendors are also to blame. They sometimes throw empty water and
juice plastic bottles into the drains.
“We are currently building 20 wall bins around the market so that we control
the littering before the council sources funds to repair and expand the drainage
system to ensure that the water passes through easily,” said Mwanyembe.
The vendors,however, warn that the drainage system needed to be repaired as soon as possible, to avoid a real possibility of more deaths from the cholera outbreak.