There’s been an outbreak of Typhoid fever in Limpopo. At least 68 children have been admitted to the Jane Furse and St. Ritas hospitals in Sekhukhune.
They’re aged between seven and thirteen. All of the children are suspected of drinking water from a contaminated furrow.
The contaminated furrow was supplying water for agricultural use, which is not safe to drink, but at a popular playground for children.
On Tuesday the 68 children had to be hospitalised after complaining of abdominal cramps, headaches and fever.
Limpopo health MEC Dr. Phophi Ramathuba, elaborates, “All the children confirmed that they drank water from the furrow. That water is not suitable for human consumption.”
Health authorities say the typhoid outbreak is confined to villages in Apel.
The parents of the hospitalised minors are furious. They’re accusing the government of failing to provide clean running water.
Mother of one of the hospitalised children Mmatseke Phetla says, “The water from the furrow is not clean. It has used nappies. They wash mobile enviro toilets there. Animals die in there. I want the municipality to bring water tankers to the village and the school. That is how our children will be safe. There is no other source of water. The taps only have water once a month.”
The Makhudu Thamaga Local Municipality is making plans to get clean water to the area. Municipality spokesperson, Lemson Moropjane says, “As a municipality we will provide tankers to provide clean water. About what happened we are still engaging with the departments as they are experts in that fieled.”
Samples of the contaminated water are still being analysed.
The government says it’s not safe to drink water and have urged residents to boil the water and add Jik to it before using it.