Blantyre City Council (BCC) authorities have with immediate effect banned the sale of ready to eat foods as a response to the outbreak of cholera which has hit some parts of the country.
In a press statement released on Thursday, signed by BCC Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Alfred Chanza it outlined that due to the outbreak of cholera in some parts of the country, the Council has banned ready to eat foods such as boiled or roasted green maize.
“BCC would like to inform its residents that sale or offer for sale of ready-to-eat foods such as cooked or roasted fresh maize, mandasi, cooked cassava, potato, sweet beer (thobwa) is banned in the city with immediate effect following the cholera outbreak in some parts of the country,” the statement reads.
BCC Public Relations Officer (PRO), Anthony Kasunda said the council would be monitoring the situation before it could decide to vacate the ban.
He pointed out that, “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 that street vending and trading in undesignated places is illegal.”
Kasunda added that in line with the two respective Acts of local government and public health respectively, the council would confiscate and destroy such foods should any vendor be found selling or offering for sale the same within Blantyre city.
The PRO emphasized that the ban targets those who sell ready to eat foods along the streets, schools, in locations and all undesignated places, adding that it was the responsibility of residents to avoid buying such type of food thereby facilitating easy enforcement.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Joshua Malango commended BCC for the ban saying it was in the best interest of Malawians to have a healthy nation.
He urged all Malawians to take necessary measures to avoid cholera.
Malango explained that the Ministry of Health provides recommendations to all district councils after assessing cholera risk and expects individual councils to implement the recommendations in the manner BCC has done.