Electricity, water crisis forces partial closure of Binga District Hospital
BINGA has gone for two weeks without electricity and water, forcing the partial closure of the district hospital which is now attending to emergencies only.
A Zesa transformer at Deka Drum broke down affecting both power and water supplies to the district.
Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director, Dr Nyasha Masuka said operations at Binga District Hospital and Kariangwe Hospital have been affected.
“When Binga has no electricity it automatically affects water supply, hence, departments like the hospital cannot operate without water as this exposes both the clients and staff to disease.
“Water shortage is forcing us to partially close the hospital with immediate effect because the challenge is greater than estimated. In the meantime we will only attend to critical conditions only and will be admitting those in very serious conditions only,” he said.
Dr Masuka said they had pleaded with the District Civil Protection Unit which is headed by Binga District Administrator Mrs Lydia Ndethi-Banda to assist.
He said there were promises that the situation would be addressed, but nothing has been done yet.
“The CPU had promised to assist the hospital in supplying water to the hospital but nothing has been done so far. Hospitals being most crucial places, are left with no option except to partially close down,” he said.
Chief Siansale said Binga High School and other schools around Binga centre are sending back pupils to their homes as they cannot manage them without running water.
“Non-boarders are being sent back home every morning, while only Form Four examination classes are the only ones attending classes. The school is depending on the school truck to collect raw water from the Zambezi River for use by the boarders exposing them to the risk of diseases,” he said.
The chief said most primary schools are requesting each pupil to bring a two litres of water to school for drinking and cleaning up their toilets.
“The situation is critical especially in schools where young pupils are not able to take utmost caution. Power cuts cripple operations in most departments and a permanent solution is required as the district faces these challenges every rainy season,” he said.
A Binga businessman, who spoke on condition of anonymity said most businesses were incurring losses.
“People are now using the bush to relieve themselves and this may lead to diseases while there are also fears of elephant attacks as the animals are always roaming around nearby bushes. We are also now fetching water directly from the crocodile infested Zambezi River,” said the businessman.
Binga RDC chief executive Mr Joshua Muzamba and the district administrator could not be reached for comment. — @winnie_masara.