MINISTER of Livestock and Fisheries Makozo Chikote says his ministry has dispatched a team of experts to study the effects of contamination on part of the Kamfinsa stream on aquatic life.
The Water Resources Management Authority on Saturday revealed that part of the Kamfinsa Stream on the Copperbelt had been contaminated after a truck laden with Sodium Hydroxide plunged into the stream at the Kamfinsa bridge on Thursday.
In an interview, Tuesday, Chikote said his ministry had assigned experts to verify and see exactly what kind of material the truck was carrying and whether the substance may have some negative effects on fish.
“We assigned our experts to verify and see exactly what kind of material the truck was getting. To verify the substances and indeed to see what happens if at all the substance has some negative effect on the fish. If we access and if we have our farmers along that stream and all that, then [we] will be able to guide after verification. It is quite unfortunate that even the other system, the transport sector, to respond to that incident it was a bit late because the truck took some time,” he said.
Asked if there were any reports from members of the community of fish dying as a result of the contamination, Chikote said no such reports had been received yet.
“Actually I haven’t gotten such concerns from either our farmers or from the communities reacting to that. The only part I got which was not even official was the reaction of some of the farmers along that stream who were just discussing issues pertaining to human consumption, the usage of water and all that. That is the reaction I got, that is why I am still saying that subject to verification, that’s when we can really see what we can do as a ministry under the fisheries sector,” said Chikote.