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Bethlehem health scare over fish poisoned in local dam

Written by Bontle Motsoeneng

People in the Bethlehem area who have eaten fish caught from their local dam have been falling desperately sick, and the Health Department is now investigating the health scare.

bethlehem2The community of Bethlehem in the Free State have been issued an urgent environmental health warning urging them not to eat and fish caught in Loch Lamond Dam, located in their area.

The dam has apparently been poisoned, which has led to the fish being contaminated and therefore not fit for human consumption. Scores of large dead fish have been picked up by hungry local people, some of whom have eaten them.

Hungry people

Khaltone Mosia from Bethlehem said: “I ate the fish because I was desperate. I did not believe that I could get sick because we grew up eating dead cows (animals not slaughtered for eating, known by locals as mokojane), so I took the risk. I ate the fish and now I am really sick. Every two minutes I am in the toilet, and it’s not good. I am also suffering from stomach aches.”

I ate the fish and now I am really sick. Every two minutes I am in the toilet, and it’s not good. I am also suffering from stomach aches.

Health warning

According to Dr David Motau, head of the Free State Department of Health, said the community of Bethlehem should not eat fish from that dam, nor should they eat any food or vegetables harvested from non-certified and approved food outlets in the area.

“We have dispatched our environmental health officers to test the water samples taken from that dam in order to determine what could have killed the fish,” he said, explaining why the department did not yet know what poison had contaminated the dam. – Health-e News

 

About the author

Bontle Motsoeneng

Bontle Motsoeneng is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Free State’s Thabo Mofutsanyane Health District.