Zambezi Affirmative Repositioning Movement spokesperson Mwemba “Raasbom” Mwemba has cautioned parents and public at large to avoid drinking water from the traditional wells at Lwanyanda, because they have been poisoned with chemicals. This was apparently done without the knowledge of the community.
Mwemba is particularly worried about a learner at one school in Cowboy location who allegedly uses the Lwanyanda passage very often and consume water from the wells.
“This just a warning to all parents to guard your children because health officials ingested poison in the wells between Lwanyanda and Cowboy, and you are aware that is where learners drink water. The officials did it secretly without informing the resident nor putting a sign to indicate the action taken. They left the car faraway when they carried that task, luckily our foot soldiers caught up with them, and are now placed around the area to caution the public,” said Mwemba.
According to Mwemba their attempts to have the wells covered are derailed as they are restrained by law enforcement from accessing the area. This is the area where demolitions of hundreds of houses which were allegedly set up illegally were destroyed, following a court order. “This is no longer a fight of demolition, the war has escalated to another level now to an extent of trying to kill people. How can you put chemicals in a well without informing the public, yet council have the money to pay hourly for hiring demolition machinery,” he fumed.
Zambezi regional health director Agness Mwilima who said she has no knowledge that something like this was done, – if it is true it could be larvicide, a chemical applied against mosquitos. “Mosquitos breed in stagnant water, so I believe if that was done, it is for that purpose, as opposed to the notion that the wells were being poisoned. But all in all we communicate and inform the public of our intention and the purpose of fumigation,” said Mwilima.
She however said, the ministry is mainly responsible with conducting such exercises outside town boundaries, hence she is sceptical whether it was indeed health officials who carried out the process. “In town it would always be the town council’s responsibility, but in this regard I will have to find out,” she added.
The CEO of Katima town council Raphael Liswaniso said, they are not the one’s administering the fumigation process.
“That’s the responsibility of ministry of health how can the director say its us. However, we will just cover up the wells because no one will be using them anymore since the people who lived the are gone,”
“When we do it, we usually have a collaboration but we dont oversee the process,” said Liswaniso.