Contaminated Water Kills 328 From Zimbabwe This Year, Mail Says

May 19, 2014 12:10 pm ET

May 19 (Bloomberg) -- Contaminated drinking water has killed 328 people in Zimbabwe this year, mainly in urban areas, the Sunday Mail said, citing Portia Manangazira, a disease control specialist in the health ministry, and a report by the country’s Environmental Management Agency.

More than 190,500 people have been treated for diseases related to contaminated water in the period, the Harare-based newspaper said on its website. Sewage leaking from broken pipes into water systems is the primary cause of infection, the state- controlled paper said.

Zimbabwe’s ministry of health is advising consumers to boil all water and use disinfecting tablets before drinking, saying cleanliness of the supply can’t be guaranteed.

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority reported April 29 that it’s “near bankrupt,” owed debts of about $140 million from consumers.