An unknown fish disease has broken out in Choma River of Kaputa District and has claimed many fish species.
The unknown disease which has affected all fish species in the river presents sores on the fish and is suspected to have emerged in June this year.
This has resulted in the fish to fail to swim as it is found on the surface of the water a situation that is making fishermen catch the fish with their bare hands instead of using nets or hooks.
The situation has caused fear among the residents and the traditional leadership in the areas because it is the first time a disease of this kind has been spotted in the river
Other fears are that the disease might spread to Lake Mweru Wantipa as Choma River which starts from the Democratic Republic of Congo flows into the lake.
And Kaputa District Fisheries Officer, Jackson Mayondi who went to check on the situation today said the department is not yet sure what is causing sores and killing the fish.
Mr Mayondi together with Kaputa Fisheries Research Officer, Aongola
Anamunda said the department will send samples of the fish to Kasama to analyse the problem.
He said it would be on that analysis that the department will be able to determine the problem and seek ways to address it.
Thye fiheries officer has however urged Kaputa residents to stop eating the fish from the river until investigations are done.
He said eating the fish from the river should discouraged especially because the cause of the disease has not been ascertained adding that the side effects of consuming the fish are not known.
And an official from Kaputa District Hospital Harrison Sivile who accompanied the team from the fisheries has also cautioned residents to either stop drawing drinking water from the river or if they do they should add chlorine or boil it before drinking.
Mr Sivile noted that the water may not be suitable for human consumption hence advised people to seek medical attention if they suspect anything after eating the fish.
However, stopping residents to completely stop rinking water from the river might prove to be a challenge due to the inadequate number of boreholes in the area.