Mozambique has recently become a victim of a catastrophic cyclone that has left a disastrous trail of destruction in the city of Beira. According to numerous reports, this is the worst humanitarian crisis in Mozambique’s recent history. Large parts of the city of Beira have been severely flooded which is causing a range of health risks that are associated with disruptions in usual water and wastewater treatment.
Increased Health Risks after Disasters
The aftermath of disasters, such as the cyclone in Beira, often lead to further health risks due to the disruption of existing water treatment solutions in that they may have been damaged or contaminated. A contamination in the water supply will be easily spread across the city, leading to outbreaks of potentially fatal illnesses such as:
- Viral gastroenteritis
- And other waterborne diseases.
Another major health risk is the fact that stagnant water could fuel existing concerns for malaria in Beira by becoming the perfect breeding site for malaria carrying mosquitos.
Solutions to Address the Increase in Health Risks after Disaster
A solutions that could possibly help people who find themselves in situations where their water treatment has been compromised is to promote hygiene as much as possible. Other possible solutions would be for government, private and humanitarian organisations to hand out disinfectants such as chlorine tablets to treat water before use. These temporary solutions could help protect people and keep a full-blown outbreak of waterborne diseases at bay until more permanent water treatment solutions are implemented and existing infrastructure restored.
Restoring Water Treatment Solutions
Governments of nations that have been hit by natural disasters must focus on restoring their water and wastewater treatment infrastructure as soon as possible. This will hopefully prevent further diseases and fatalities in the affected areas. Water treatment solutions are important for everyday life, and should not be neglected when disaster strikes.