Residents of Oyorokoto community in the Andoni Local Government Area and Finima community in the Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State have cried out to the state government to come to their rescue over the death of fishes in their rivers.
The residents stated that the dead fishes were washed to the shorelines, adding that they had yet to find out the cause of the incident.
They expressed their worry about the development, saying it could lead to another health emergency if not tackled immediately.
Clement Sunday, Chairman, Ngo Town Community Development Committee, Andoni LGA, who spoke with our correspondent in a telephone interview, said hardship forced natives of Oyorokoto fishing settlement to eat the dead fishes, ignoring the attendant health implications.
He, however, begged the state government to quickly intervene in the situation as the livelihood of the locals had been affected.
“Golden fish, catfish, mallets and other species of fishes have been washed ashore at Oyorokoto fishing community for over two weeks now. Many dead fishes are at the Finima, Brass seashores, down to Oyorokoto.
“We have not been able to ascertain what is killing the fishes; that is why we are calling on the ministry of health to intervene and stop our people from eating the dead fishes. This issue has brought another form of hardship to my people because fishing is their main source of sustenance,” Sunday stated.
Leader of Lighthouse Fishing Settlement in Finima community, Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State, Sodienye Alex-Brown, said residents needed urgent medical attention to avoid possible disease outbreak in the area following the people’s ignorant consumption of the affected fishes.
Alex-Brown said, “My people need medical attention because they have been ignorantly eating the dead fishes and we don’t know what killed them.
“We don’t know what will be the outcome over a period of time. That is why we are calling on the government to come and carry out a medical examination on the people to see if they have consumed abnormal substance into their bodies.”
Commissioner for Environment, Dr Igbiks Tamuno, on his part, said the government had taken samples of the dead fishes to the laboratory for investigation so as to ascertain what was killing the fishes in large numbers.
Tamuno, however, cautioned people of the area not to eat the dead fishes until the cause of death was ascertained.
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