Council probes fish deaths in Shakashe River

Source: Council probes fish deaths in Shakashe River | The Herald

George Maponga in MASVINGO

Hundreds of fish and other aquatic species have died in Shakashe and Mucheke rivers that divide Masvingo City, with the council now under the spotlight for allegedly discharging raw sewer in the two rivers.

Shakashe and Mucheke are also tributaries of Lake Mutirikwi, which is the sole source of water for Masvingo City.

The deaths of hundreds of fish that were found floating in Mucheke and Shakashe rivers has triggered alarm with residents and environmentalists criticising the council.

Town clerk Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa confirmed that raw sewer was discharged into the two rivers recently, following the blockage of some sewer main lines in the city.

Eng Mukatirwa added that some of the sewer might have originated from sewer trunk lines.
Specimens from the dead fish were collected for laboratory tests in Harare to establish the cause of the deaths of fish.

“We have teamed up with EMA (the Environmental Management Agency) and collected samples from the two rivers so that laboratory tests are conducted to find out what killed the fish and other aquatic creatures.

“We are awaiting results from a reputable laboratory in Harare,” he said.

The blocked sewers and main trunk lines were being attended to, with the problem expected to be fixed by tomorrow.

Besides discharge of raw sewer into Lake Mutirikwi and its tributaries, the other major challenge threatening Masvingo city’s water sources is water hyacinth

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