By Nation Reporter
THE residents of Lusaka’s Mazyopa compound are reportedly feasting on fish from exposed sewer ponds on the nearby Ngwerere stream following the Bombay drainage construction works being carried out there by Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).
A spot check by the Daily Nation, yesterday found residents flocking to catch the fish from the sewer ponds for consumption and also sale.
MCA communications director Dr. John Kunda explained that Gabriel Couto, the contractors working on the drainage system, has created a by-pass for water, thereby draining water from the nearby sewer ponds.
He said that a lot of water had started to flow because of the same by-pass which was making the dirty water clear and that people were now able see fish in the shallow ponds.
“In order to pave way for the construction works, we are diverting the water and people now have seen the fish coming in the shallower end, that’s where they are catching the fish from,” he said.
Dr Kunda said that the water was contaminated because some people in the area had connected pit latrines to the drain and that the same water had not undergone any laboratory testing.
He said that the drainage system was being built to protect the community from being flooded due to the increased water flow.
The drainage would be 24 metres wide and as deep as 5 metres in some areas, hence the diversion where people were catching the fish from.
He has urged the community to desist from going to the construction site as it was a restricted area and that they should not take advantage of such disastrous opportunities.
And one of the concerned residents, Ms Mary Phiri, said a lot of people started catching fish on Thursday when the MCA employees diverted the stream that exposed the fish to the public.
“People started to catch the cat fish on Thursday when the drainage was diverted, hence exposing the fish. The people are now busy catching the fish for consumption while others are selling it at the nearby market,” she said.
Another resident Mr. John Mambwe was worried by the fish caught in sewer water, saying it was contaminated because it was very dark compared to what was found in rivers across the country.
“The fish is dark in colour unlike the usual fish we buy from rivers therefore it is a health hazard”, he noted.
He urged members of the public to stay away from the stream for their own safety.
Lusaka City Council (LCC) public relations manager Habeenzu Mulunda expressed ignorance on the issue when contacted for comment.