Health experts say that the main reason for the growing number of diarrhoea cases was the consumption of polluted water and unhygienic food. The pollution of water bodies have already been confirmed by the numerous studies conducted by the Kozhikode-based Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM).
Residents of Ladybrand, South Africa – both in town and Manyatseng township – in Free State – said they boiled their water daily to ensure that it was safe for consumption. The water is brownish in colour and residents have complained about diarrhoea even after boiling it.
Informal investigations uncovered eleven official baby deaths from diarrhoea in this tiny hamlet in the last three months. There could be more. A health professional working in the area kept a written record of their names and causes of death, along with the details of a number of elderly people and those made vulnerable by HIV. She declined to be interviewed as she had been threatened that she would lose her job if news of this epidemic leaked out. Anecdotes from grieving relatives, family members and employers tell of more deaths. One farmer reported that, of his workforce, one family lost eight members to sickness brought on by drinking dirty water.
Hundreds of people in the Egyptian town of Menoufia have fallen ill after drinking contaminated water.