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Mombasa in stringent measures to avert cholera outbreak

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[Mombasa County Health CEC Hazel Koitaba (L) with her Devolution counterpart Seth Odongo. Photo/Courtesy].

In a bid to prevent cholera outbreak in the tourist resort city, Mombasa county government has banned hawking of bottled water.

It has ordered all the companies in the sector to immediately present their KEBS certificate to the health department for verification.

County health Executive Member Hazel Koitaba said the move is to prevent cholera outbreak especially during the rainy season.

In a statement to newsrooms Tuesday, Koitaba said that the county is exercising utmost caution since it has experienced cholera outbreaks in the past.

“To contain any possible outbreak of such diseases, we have also banned all food outsourced from hotels, suppliers and business entities whose premises and businesses are unlicensed, and have not received a health inspection certificate from the department,” she said.

All investors dealing with bottled water have been asked to adhere to the order or their business completely shut.

She urged anyone outsourcing food and drinks for any public function to immediately notify the Department of Health Services to allow for necessary inspections and approvals.

“Any individual or organisation wishing to outsource food and drinks should notify the department within 14 days prior to their function,” she added.

All hotel workers, food and water vendors in the county have been ordered to immediately present themselves for registration with the department for medical examination and licensing.

She also disclosed that the County government is working closely with Coast Water Services Board, Water Services Providers (MOWASCO), the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) and Water Resource Users Associations (WRUA) to put in place mechanisms for vigorous and random testing of water from all water resources, treatment and quality assurance to map and repair all broken overflowing sewer lines that may cause water contamination.

The Health Executive member also revealed that a sensitization exercise is ongoing to raise awareness and empower communities through health messaging on cholera prevention and control, health education, water safety, personal hygiene and sanitation, proper disposal of liquid and solid waste, treatment of domestic water, proper washing of food and other measures to make the county cholera free.

The county is also issuing water treatment chemicals and other sanitation consumables to avert cholera cases.

The move comes during the holy month of Ramadan where food vendors have been making money outside mosques selling iftar snacks to Muslim faithfuls during breaking of fast.