POSTAL and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) handed over US$200 000 to government to further efforts to eliminate the cholera epidemic which has claimed not less than 49 lives to date.
By Michael Gwarisa
POTRAZ acting director general, Engineer Baxton Sirewu said they had heeded the clarion call by government for corporates to play their part in the fight against cholera.
“POTRAZ is pleased to hear from the authorities that signs are there on the ground that we may win the battle of cholera. As POTRAZ, our space is the telecommunications and our natural response when we heard there was a cholera epidemic was to ensure that there is communication for the centers and for the citizens across the cities.
“I am happy to note that at least here in Harare, there is adequate communication. We have worked with operators to issue with short codes, which short codes they have used to create applications for citizens to communicate,” said Eng Sirewu.
He added that the battle was larger than just communication and as an organisation they, “have injected an amount to the tune of US$200 000 which will go to assist the ministry in its fight against cholera.
“It is our hope that together we can win this battle sooner rather than later. It is also our hope that Zimbabwe does not lose an additional life. To those who have lost lives and those who have lost lives we extend our sympathies and condolences.”
He also expressed gratitude to players in the telecommunications sector whop have intervened in the prevailing epidemic.
A number of players in the postal and telecommunications sector have intervened in the Cholera fight. These include Econet Wireless, NetOne and TelOne with most of the players having activated emergency call numbers as well as toll free numbers as a response to the Cholera outbreak.
TelOne donated US$20 000 to cholera right at its peak as well as 20 000 litres of water daily a process they will continue until the plague has subsided. They have also opened up a toll free cholera alerts platform 994.
Econet wireless donated US$10 000 for the procurement of cholera commodities while NetOne has also installed portable water tanks and one million litres of clean water. NetOne has also launched an SMS campaign meant to raise funds for the epidemic.