Despite two petitions sent to Nkhata Bay District Council by various foodstuff vendors plying their trade at Nkhata Bay Boma and Mpamba Trading Centre to lift the ban on sale of consumables, the district health officer says the ban still stands.
Last month, the council stopped the sale of any ready-made foodstuffs because of the cholera outbreak that hit the district.
In their petitions, the vendors claim they are facing a lot of economic challenges because of the ban.
Speaking at a district executive committee (DEC) meeting, Nkhata Bay district health officer Albert Mkandawire said despite many people writing and pleading with the council to lift the foodstuff ban, it is necessary for people to bear in mind that the outbreak still stands in the district despite tremendous progress being made.
“People should know that as a district,we still have one case in Ruarwe Health Centre, and only when that patient is discharged can we safely say the ban has been lifted, ”said the DHO.
He further said people in the district should appreciate that cholera is a serious health concern and needs to be treated with utmost seriousness.
“Despite people losing out on their businesses, we need to appreciate that cholera is bigger than the lost businesses.We can choose to lift the ban now only for the outbreak to resurface and escalate,”said Mkandawire.
“People should consider doing other businesses instead of waiting for the lifting of the ban,” said Willard Yobe who is a member of DEC.