CNN -- The number of cholera deaths in Zimbabwe is now approaching 3,000, the World Health Organization says.
Two men rest in a cholera rehydration tent on the South Africa-Zimbabwe border in December.
Latest, WHO statistics show 2,971 deaths since the outbreak began in August, with 56,123 cases reported.
The epidemic has swept through a country wracked with political and economic crises.
Cholera is an intestinal disease caused by bacteria in contaminated water.
The epidemic has been aggravated by erratic water supplies, shortages of water purification chemicals, broken water and sewer pipes and uncollected garbage.
On top of that, the waste-disposing system has collapsed. Children can be seen playing on heaps of uncollected garbage in the suburbs of most urban areas in Zimbabwe.
Last month, the government led by President Robert Mugabe declared the cholera epidemic a national emergency.
The country already was wracked by an enormous economic crisis, with a hyperinflationary economy and shortages of all essentials including food, fuel, cash, foreign currency and electricity.
Zimbabwe's rainy season peaks in January or February and ends in late March, and Zimbabwean Health Minister David Parirenyatwa warned the epidemic could get worse during the rainy season.