Residents ‘living in hell’ as blood-sucking insects lice and tsikidzi invade Mbare flats


RESIDENTS of Matererini Flats in Mbare say they are “living in hell” after an outbreak of bed bugs and lice.

Known as tsikidzi, in Shona, the blood-sucking insects, have become a cause for concern for the residents, who are now appealing for immediate action to address the health hazard as some children are now failing to attend lessons.

One of the expecting mothers, Tinotenda Takadii, told H-Metro she has been having sleepless nights since December last year.

“Life has not been fine for us, especially at night, due to the bed bugs,” said Tinotenda.

“Hatisikurara nekukwenya husiku hwese uye takutotya kubvakachirana nekutya kuzadzana tsikidzi.

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“Teachers are barring children who have been affected by the bed bugs from mixing with others.

“Our bed mattresses have become the breeding places of these bed bugs.

“Colourful clothes have changed to brown and red and are dotted with the blood stains of these bed bugs.

“We are appealing to the relevant authorities to find an immediate way of curbing this health hazard,” said Tinotenda.

Some residents have sold their valuable property, including beds and sofas at giveaway prices as way of trying to reduce the breeding places of the bed bugs.

One of the residents, Fadzai Mahomed of Block 3 B29, sold her sofa at US$8.

“Bed bugs have been a problem for some time and at first we thought it was mosquito,” said Fadzai.

“My bed, blankets, sofas, furniture and clothes have these bugs and everyone in the house is scratching. I sold a very good pair of sofas at US$8 as a way of removing part of the bed bugs’ breeding places.

“Mari yacho ndakaitengesa huku mbiri ndikadya nevana.

“We were no longer enjoying sitting on the sofa and we have been experiencing sleepless nights since last year.

“Allow me to thank Mbare Cousins Community Trust for hiring private players to fumigate the affected houses.

“If other players, including health officials, visit these blocks of flats and get them sprayed, it will curb the spreading of bedbugs,” she said.

A man preparing to fumigate some of he rooms

Mbare Cousins Community Trust chairperson, Simbarashe “Boss Dhama” Chanachimwe, said the community has started campaigns for the fumigation of houses.

“We have taken cleaning campaigns to homes as a way of curbing the fast-breeding of bed bugs and lice,” said Boss Dhama.

“We are engaging home-based health workers to find ways of meeting residents and for them to be given access into homes when they visit,” he said.

Bed bugs are insects which feed on blood, usually at night.

Their bites can result in a number of health issues, including skin rashes and psychological effects.

— HMetro

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