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Authorities inspect cause of fish deaths in Houayxai

Authorities in Houayxai district, Bokeo province are suspecting that the cause of death of a large number of fish and other aquatic animals is due to a chemical substance from a yet unknown source.


Local residents found many dead fish and aquatic animals in the Ngao protected river zone after they floated to the surface on the morning of February 12 near Poungnanoun village in Houayxai district.

Authorities from the District Agriculture and Forestry Office have joined local officials in the inspection into the cause of the dead animals.

These officials have now taken some of the dead fish and water samples for analysis in the capital of which the work for is being done by Vientiane authorities and a result of the analysis is scheduled to be disclosed this week.

Head of the Houayxai district office, MrSouvatPhengphachanh told to Vientiane Times yesterday that according to officials of the District Agriculture and Forestry Office and the District Health Office the fish were killed by some unknown chemical substance but that nobody knows where the source of the substance may have come from and who might have put it into the river.

Officials have warned all villagers and nearby villages along the Ngao River line that they should not take any of the dead animals or catch any fish for cooking for the time being.

MrSouvat said at first some of the villagers had taken some of the dead fish from the river for cooking but that luckily nobody has been affected.

However, to ensure safety, all villagers should return the dead fish to local officials to be destroyed.

An official of the District Agriculture and Forestry Office, MrKhanthongSisengphet told Vientiane Times that they are now simply waiting on the results from Vientiane.

“Nobody knows the cause of the dead fish as we are still waiting for the results of the analysis. After residents called officials, we visited the site and found that many animals had already been floating, with the biggest fish weighing in around 5 kilogram,”MrKhanthong said.

He said that the Ngao protected river zone is 7 kilometres long, and flows through three villages including Poungnanoun before linking up with the Mekong River. The two sides of the riverbanks do have banana farms that are owned by a local company.

This is the second time that Houayxai district has experienced the same incident over the last year with a similar incident happening in Toy River along Thibounthong village.

M rKhanthong noted that the number of dead fish in the Toy River incident was not quite as much as this latest incident.

The fish were killed last year after heavy rains washed a chemical substance local farmers had been using to grow their bananas into the Toy River on a farm that was located too near the river.




By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
February 15,

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