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Joint Statement by the DEPTs. of Agriculture, Land Reform& Rural Development,Environment and Nature Conservation,Health and the Sol Plaatje Municipality on the Die-Offs of Catfish at Kamfers Dam

Following on the 2013 die-offs of Lesser Flamingos and other bird species as a result of an outbreak of Avian Botulism,

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it was resolved that during high risk periods, the dam will be monitored on a weekly basis. On the 16th of February 2015, the team discovered die-offs of catfish at the dam. The team also discovered that local residents were harvesting dying fish for sale at surrounding areas.

An Outbreak Team consisting of members of Sol Plaatje Municipality and departments mentioned above was set up. Veterinary Services (Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development) has already collected samples of dying and dead fish and array of tests will be carried during the course of this week and the next. At this point we would not like to speculate on the cause of the die-offs. What we have noted however is that the water levels have dropped and there might be oxygen tension in the water but whether this is the problem, will be confirmed in next week.


Communities in Kimberley but particularly those around or near Kamfers Dam are requested not to consume or purchase catfish caught at Kamfers Dam. The Environmental Health units of both Department of Health and Sol Plaatje Municipality are attending to the Health promotion aspect in the surrounding areas as well as alerts to local clinics. The dead fish will be collected and disposed of safely so that they do not become a source for secondary outbreaks. This aspect will be handled by Sol Plaatje Municipality and the Department of Environment and Nature Conservation. We have also communicated with Spoornet who will also be present during the collection of the dead fish as the area is around railway lines.


Ally Diteme
Dept. Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development – 083 452 9851

Sello Matsie
Sol Plaatje Municipality – 076 152 6628

Lulu Mxekexo

Department of Health – 083 357 4441

Lesego  Pule
Dept. of Environment and Nature Conservation    072 358 7481

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