Blantyre City Council (BCC) has banned selling of ready-to-eat foods as a response to the outbreak of cholera which has hit some parts of the country.
Blantyre is yet to be hit by the disease whose cumulative cases nationwide have surpassed 200.
Cholera has hit most parts of Southern Africa with neighbouring Tanzania registering 4 470 cases and 81 deaths, Zambia has 2 600 cases and 48 deaths while Mozambique has registered 1 300 cases.
In a statement, BCC chief executive officer Alfred Chanza said the cholera outbreak has led the council to ban foods such as boiled or roasted green maize, fritters (mandasi), cooked cassava, potatoes and sweet beer (thobwa).
BCC public relations manager Anthony Kasunda said the council would be monitoring the situation before vacating the ban.
He said: “Together with other partners in the health sector, we will be monitoring the situation. However, Local Government and Public Health acts and BCC by-laws that regulate vending in the city will still be enforced.
“As you already know, street vending and trading in undesignated places is illegal.”
Kasunda said the council, empowered by the two acts, would confiscate and destroy such foods.
He said the ban targets those who sell ready-to-eat foods along the streets, schools and all undesignated places.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango commended BCC for the ban, saying it was in the best interest of Malawians to have a healthy nation.
The ministry has put 16 of the country’s 28 districts on cholera alert.