Our True Voice are the eyes and ears of the communities that drive the ECID programme.

They are our network of community reporters sharing first-hand accounts of the challenges and solutions of social exclusion.


Endemic within a pandemic: fears of diarrhoea in Mutare amid COVID-19

Prudence Sauriri


Reporting topics:
Agriculture, livelihoods, water

The never-ending problem of poor sanitation and overcrowding in most of Mutare’s districts threatens an outbreak of cholera and diarrhea. Residents fear a possible cholera/diarrhea outbreak will lead to a further crisis within a pandemic and they want the authorities to act fast.

Image of poor drainage due to burst pipe at ward 1 Sakubva, Mutare, Zimbabwe
Poor drainage due to burst pipe at ward 1 Sakubva, Mutare, Zimbabwe

This comes at a time when the city and the country at large are grappling with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In June 2021, two courthouses – Mutare Magistrates’ Court and the Mutare High Court were shut down to allow for fumigation and contact tracing after some members of staff tested positive for coronavirus.

With already stretched resources, coupled with the poor drainage and sanitation system in some communities, a cholera/diarrhea outbreak will be catastrophic as it will collapse the city, endangering many lives. The deplorable sanitation, poor water reticulation, and overcrowding make it difficult to observe coronavirus measures including regular handwashing.

‘Now, the city’s clinics and hospitals are already overwhelmed and the high cost of private health care facilities gives the majority of the population fewer options for treatment in the likely event of a cholera/diarrhea outbreak.’


This article was written by ECID’s Community Engagement Officer Michito in co-production with Our True Voice community reporter, Prudence Sauriri, who was reporting on this issue in his community.