Following reports of skin diseases being contracted by the river folk of Western Province post-quake, a Dutch expert has analysed some samples of the river and has found there to be no serious poisonous contaminants.
United Nations Water Specialist Mr Reve van den Hoven conducted a thorough analysis of various water sources in parts of North, Middle and South Fly in Western Province and has come up with preliminary findings that point to the water being mostly muddy.
The initial samples taken by the UN expert were to ascertain whether the rivers and waterways had a high toxicity level that would render the water sources and rivers dangerous to human and animal life.
After a few tests, it was brought to light last week that the rivers and waterways in the province are mostly a lot thicker due to the tremendous amount of soil and debris that entered the tributaries when the earthquake brought down large chunks of mountains on February 26.
Even more so, Mr Reve van den Hoven said that while there are no major pollutants in the water, the mud itself has caused the rivers to turn into a thick slushy goo that has destroyed the oxygen content in the water thus suffocating whatever fish life was present prior to the quake induced landslips.
“The fish life has been destroyed due to the lack of oxygen in the water, and the scary thing is that this situation remains indefinitely as the aftershocks continue to add more soil to the waterways of the province,” said the UN specialist.
Emergency controller Dr William Hamblin said last week during a visit to Western Province that the situation has not improved and that the water while not-poisonous, cannot be used due to its thick slushy state.
“While toxicity readings of samples of the water are low based on the Dutch specialist’s findings, the people still suffer nonetheless as the water is still unusable and will remain so for some time to come,” said Dr Hamblin.
He said that the disaster relief team in collaboration with provincial relief committees would be bringing in relief through tinned foods and water tanks for some semblance of relief but added that much help is still needed to now tackle the huge water woes of the vast province. Post Courier
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