Measures to prevent cholera not yet implemented in Bujumbura city

The trade and movement of cooked food, juice, water packed in plastic bags…are still observed in public places in the economic capital Bujumbura.

Some restaurants still operate in Buyenzi neighborhood

On 7 August, around 10: 30 a.m. on 24th Avenue in Buyenzi neighborhood, people rush to prepare foods. “We think that we are not concerned by the decision recently imposed by Bujumbura Mayor”, says a young man met on the spot cooking food near “Ruvumera” market.

He says no administrative official has already come to alert them on cholera case. “We use water fetched from the compound located behind our restaurant and hygiene regulations are respected”, he adds.

On the other avenue called “Zero 7”, all restaurants and bars were closed a month ago. “They were closed because it was reported that there is an outbreak of cholera disease in the capital Bujumbura,” he says adding that no cholera case has been reported in the locality so far.

A woman working in the locality says her family risk dying of hunger since all restaurants and bars were closed. “We don’t have anything to feed our children,” she says.
A person caught in possession of cooked food or drinks is immediately arrested and jailed. “We must pay BIF 20.000 as a fine to be released”, says a young man.

At “COTEBU” market parking located in Ngagara neighborhood in Ntahangwa commune, in the north of Bujumbura, the situation is similar.

Some restaurants and bars are closed while others continue working. People continue to eat cooked food in dirty places. “We are aware of the decision of Bujumbura Mayor. We don’t have any choice. We work to feed our families”, says an owner of a restaurant.

In a communiqué issued on 5 August, Bujumbura Mayor suspended the sale and movement of those products in markets, in car parking and other public places.
Freddy Mbonimpa said 126 cases of cholera have already been detected in Kanyosha, Buyenzi, Buterere and Cibitoke neighborhoods of Bujumbura.

According to WHO, researchers have estimated between 1.3 million and 4.0 million cases of cholera and between 21 000 and 143 000 deaths worldwide due to cholera each year.