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Zambezi river pollution warning

2nd January 2007

Dangerous levels of bacteria have been found in the backwaters of the Zambezi river, where fish have been found recently suffering from an unknown and apparently fatal disease.

Scientists in Namibia, Zambia and Botswana have begun testing the waters of Africa's fourth-largest river, which flows from Namibia into the Indian Ocean, supporting around 40 million people along the way.

In Namibia, results showed high levels of E.coli, salmonella and coliforms, which are indicators for other disease-causing microbes.

One scientist warned that people were in danger of contracting diarrhoea, typhoid, amoebiasis, and schistosomiasis.

Fishermen there began reporting serious sores on fish in early October, affecting up to four out of five fish caught.

Results from Zambia and Botswana have not yet been reported.

 

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