A 21- year – old man of Namalio fishing camp has been reported drowned to death and body missing after the boat he was using for fishing on the Kafue flats capsized after a Hippo attack.
According to Phanwell Haadinka uncle of the deceased Moonga Mweenda whose body is still missing, the incident occurred on Sunday 5th May, 2013 when his nephew in the company of Wellington Kayaya of Namalio fishing camp went fishing on the Kafue flats when a Hippo attacked them causing their boat to capsize.
Mr Haadinka told ZANIS in an interview that when the boat capsized only his nephew Moonga Mweenda drowned to death while Wellington Kayaya managed to swim to safety.
He said that parents of the deceased together with the chairperson of the fishing camp reported the incident to Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) to have the Hippo killed.
Mr Haadinka said the local fishermen had also tried their local methods to retrieve the body but to no avail and have since appealed to relevant authorities to help with provision of professional divers so that the body could be retrieved.
He narrated that on the material day of the incident, there were strong winds on the flats causing the boat to be swept and later on attacked by a Hippo.
Mr Haadinka said that the survivor (Wellingtone Kayaya) had been taken to police afterwards where he was interrogated and a statement recorded from him over the incident.
He was speaking on behalf of relatives to the deceased adding that it was not the first time such an incident had occurred at the camp as several people had been attacked and their body went missing in a similar manner.
Mr Haadinka said the fishing camp was infested with crocodiles and Hippos, a situation that called for ZAWA to take action in order to protect human lives.
He said that community members at the camp must also be sensitized because they were staying close to the flats and children were playing in canoes and boats putting them at a risk of being attacked.
Efforts to get a comment from ZAWA authorities proved futile by press time.