Rundu to Introduce By-Law for Sewerage Fishing

The Rundu Town Council is in a process of introducing a by-law that will be enforced on any resident caught fishing in the infamous Kaisosi sewage ponds as the water is contaminated and not fit for human consumption.

Over the years, the town council has battled to control its residents, especially the villagers living near sewerage ponds in Kaisosi, who often break the banks of the ponds so that the sewage water can flow out, which makes it easy for them to access and catch the contaminated fish.

Last week alone, six men were caught while fishing in the ponds and their nets confiscated. The danger and fear among the community is that one never knows the main source where street vendors get their fish.

In an interview with New Era yesterday, the town’s Chief Executive Officer, Romanus Haironga, confirmed that the town council currently has no existing by-law to regulate residents fishing in the sewerage ponds.

“We have a challenge. We still have a gap in terms of by-laws to regulate people found catching fish in sewage ponds. We currently don’t have by-laws to address such a concern. And with so many occurrences, we need to start developing such by-laws to address these challenges,” he revealed.

He reported that to minimise these challenges, the town council has contracted a security company to guard the ponds as of last year.

The security guards on duty have since last week caught two men who were busy catching fish. And again five men were caught over the weekend for the same illegal practice.

All their fishing nets have been confiscated and they have been interrogated whether the fish they caught is for themselves or selling purposes.

“Despite all the warnings and measures we have put in place and the fact that the fish is not fit for human consumption, we don’t know why the residents are still forcing to fish in the ponds,” he noted.

Another challenge, he singled out is lack of funds to fence off the ponds, saying they need about N$100 000 for such an exercise.

“We don’t have that kind of money under this financial year. And fencing will also not really solve the problem as it can be cut. What is important, is to educate residents to ensure they understand that fish from the sewerage ponds is not fit for human consumption and the water is very smelly,” Haironga said.

He warned community members not to buy fish from street vendors without knowing the origin of such fish, as it could be from the sewerage ponds.

Last year, New Era also reported that the Rundu Town Council threatened to arrest anyone caught damaging the banks of the town’s sewage ponds to divert water for their livestock.

The warning follows reports about wanton destruction of the pond’s banks due to the ongoing and desperate drought situation experienced last year.

Villagers living near the sewerage ponds started breaking the banks of the ponds so that the sewage water can flow out, which is then used by the livestock.

The town council became worried about the health of the livestock, which drinks the contaminated water and more so graze on the grass that is watered from the sewage ponds.

Source : New Era