Zimbabwe declares cholera outbreak after 20 deaths

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe’s health minister says a cholera emergency has been declared in the capital after 20 people have died.

The deaths in Harare have many fearing a repeat of the outbreak that killed thousands at the height of the southern African country’s economic problems in 2008. Water and sanitation infrastructure is collapsing.

Health Minister Obadiah Moyo says this outbreak is spreading to other parts of the country, with over 2,000 cases. He says the numbers “are growing by the day.”

Residents in some Harare suburbs have gone for months without tap water, forcing them to dig shallow wells and boreholes that have been contaminated by raw sewage flowing from burst pipes.

The U.N. children’s agency says it is assisting Zimbabwe’s government with hygiene and water provisions.

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