Zimbabwe's poor water, sanitation a health risk

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — An international right watchdog says Zimbabwe's capital is at risk of a cholera outbreak from collapsed sanitation facilities, broken drains and raw sewage flowing in streets.

Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that residents in Harare's poorest townships have little access to clean piped water and often resort to drinking water from wells contaminated with feces. The report said some residents must often defecate in the open.

The rights group said in a 60-page report it researched in 2012 through 2013 that the poor conditions violate the peoples' rights to sanitation and health.

Tiseke Kasambala, the group's southern Africa director, said many communities are threatened with a cholera epidemic.

In 2008, more than 4,000 people died from cholera across Zimbabwe when sanitation and water treatment services deteriorated.