Cholera response

Lillian, Zambia

Lillian has lost her husband to 2024 Cholera outbreak, outskirts of Lusaka in Zambia.
Image: WaterAid/Angel Phiri

When Lillian Lungu sent her husband off to work in the morning, the day seemed like any other. He picked up a snack at a food stand on his way home in the afternoon.

By that evening he was violently ill. Lillian raced him to the local clinic where beds were filling up with patients showing the same symptoms. The clinic was overwhelmed and her husband was soon transferred to an emergency cholera treatment center set up in the stadium in Lusaka, Zambia. That’s when they lost contact. 

Days later, Lillian got the news that her husband had died. She fears for the future of her family as he was the sole source of income, supporting her and their 11 children.

I don’t want them to end up on the street.

—Lillian Lungu, Zambia

Unfortunately, Lillian’s story is all too common in Zambia today as cholera spreads. Cholera is an often-deadly infection caused by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

There is a solution

Dr. Guilherme Tomo is the chief medical officer in his district in Mozambique. He knows the impact clean water has on his ability to protect his patients and stem the spread of disease. Thanks to WaterAid, his hospital now has clean, running water and the results are simple but striking.

Dr Guilherme Tomo | WaterAid
“Without water, there would be chaos. It would not be possible to clean our materials, or wash hands in my office. Hygiene is so important for me and my patients as it the basis of good health. Water is key to preventing diseases.”
Dr Guilherme Tomo

We can fix this

Clean water, decent toilets and hygiene are critical in getting cholera under control. Simple, proven solutions stop the spread of this waterborne disease and save lives.

If you have the means, please consider supporting this work. 

WaterAid is committed to providing immediate cholera relief as well as working towards long-term sustainable solutions that will safeguard the health and well-being of communities for generations to come.

Solutions include training community health workers, promoting community-led sanitation initiatives, and fostering long-term behavioral change towards improved hygiene practice. 

At the same time, we are working to address the root causes of the cholera outbreak which is spread due to contaminated water, poor sanitation and hygiene.

Learn more →

Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 29 million people with clean water and 29 million with decent toilets. We have been providing handwashing education for four decades and have reached 27.8 million people.

We work in 22 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. We are making great progress towards our goal of reaching everyone, everywhere with clean water but we can't do any of it without you.

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