Nam Ngao Sanctuary
(KPL) The results of tests conducted by two laboratories in Vientiane have proven that the water in Huayxay’s Nam Ngao Sanctuary in Bokeo Province, recently contaminated with fenpropathrin, is now safe to aquatic animals and human beings.
Early last month, a tonne of fish were found floating dead on the Nam Ngao Sanctuary, reserved as an ecological protection area for aquatic animals, in the fast-flowing Nam Ngao River.
One man, who reportedly brought an empty chemical bottle to a police officer after the dead fish were found, has been in custody.
Seven people in Nam Deua, a community close to Napoung village, developed symptoms including headaches, fainting and nausea after eating fish brought from the contaminated river. No deaths have been reported.
“The results of a laboratory examination of water samples brought from the contaminated river show that the hazardous residues receded and were rapidly diluted because the sanctuary is large and the river flows very fast. The situation is back to normal now. People can use the water and fish along the river as normal outside of the protected area, but fishing will remain prohibited at the Nam Ngao sanctuary,” said Mr Khamphanh Nanthavong, Director of the Department of Pollution Control, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
“I would like to ask the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Vientiane Capital to play a leading role working with relevant authorities of the district and villages to keep monitoring and collecting data so they can use the data to make a future management plan,” said Mr Khamphanh.
The fenpropathin contamination of the river resulted in the deaths of 800-1,000 kg of fish with most of the dead fish being tilapia, Chinese carp, perch, and Poropuntius-deauratus, according to Mr Khamphanh.