Men, women and children alike could be seen picking dead fish from the banks of the shallow river. Despite the pungent smell emanating from the dead fish, the population keeps streaming to the river to pick dead fish. The fish began floating on the river on February 22, quickly drawing a crowd to the scene of free fish.
Women on their way to the farm or businesses stopped along the river to get the free fish. Meanwhile, children stopped by on February 23, afternoon, to search for the dead fish. Some unknown persons reportedly poured a toxic chemical into the river to harvest fish, which they would sell to make fast cash.
However, police officers surfaced around the Metta Quarter Junction end of the river on Monday, and tried to disperse the population. Ever since the dead fish surfaced on the banks of Kumba Water, the river is emitting a repulsive stench. Local fishermen are noted for poisoning Kumba Water and then moving downstream to collect dead fish, which float to the surface. In some cases, these ‘fishermen’ sell their catch to the same people who supply the poison and convey the fish to urban markets.
In total disregard of the danger of consuming such fish, a local told The Post that once the fish is cooked or fried, the power of the toxic chemicals diminishes.The practice is common in tributaries and small streams during the dry season when water levels in streams and rivers are extremely low.