The following post is from AlexBurrough, SunnyMoney Operations Director in Zambia:
Zambia is currently experiencing a Cholera outbreak which has already claimed the lives of 67 people, and as of last week (11.01.2018) it had spread to the Copperbelt. Cholera is a bacterial disease which causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration and is usually spread through water.
The government has spent the last week clearing markets in the town centre and also in the compounds to help try and reduce the spread; however this has led to rioting as it has removed and disturbed their livelihoods. These street markets are where men and women make their money from selling vegetables and other food items. How are they meant to feed their families with no market?
SunnyMoney is being affected as currently all schools are closed and meetings of over five people are not allowed to happen. This means that at present the teams are grounded and cannot get the solar lights delivered to regions across Zambia. The government has received lots of support from CDC, NGOs and of course other political parties who have all made donations to help prevent the spread of the disease. On a day to day basis everyone entering banks and shops have to sanitise their hands. There’s also lots of radio and TV adverts about using clean water, washing and cooking food properly.
Zambia can experience Cholera on a yearly basis especially when the rainy season starts, however this year has seen a much bigger rise in cases with a much further spread. Zambia must make sure that more education is given to people to stop the spread, even more so on the symptoms and what do to if you suspect you maybe ill.
Long term citizens must listen to the advice being given and make sure they are using safe water, this includes making sure that compounds are being kept clean. SunnyMoney hopes that we will be able to start our vital work again with schools in February as the restrictions are relaxed.