GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, March 8 (UPI) -- Officials say they are fighting an outbreak of cholera after a month-long water shortage in Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Radio Netherlands said cholera occurs frequently in Goma, the capital of Northern Kivu province, and the disease has killed 50 people the past few weeks.
"Since the Rwandan refugee camps in 1994, where cholera was widespread, [nearby] Lake Kivu has been a breeding ground for the cholera bacteria," Dr. Dominique Baabo, the provincial health inspector for North Kivu, told the Dutch broadcaster. "When there is a water shortage and people are forced to use the water from the lake, there is always a new cholera outbreak."
The provincial director of the national water company REGIDESO, Deogratias Kizibisha Kabiona, said the water shortage is caused by a failing pump.
The report said REGIDESO failed to pay its electricity bill, compelling the national electricity company SNEL to cut power.