The huge carcas of a dead crocodile in the river.
The rural community of Tshitombondo in Malavuwe outside Thohoyandou relies on water from the local Luvuvhu River since municipal water is only available occasionally in the community.
However, the situation has changed, as water from this river is no longer suitable for drinking.
Since last week, a nauseating stench has been sweeping the Luvuvhu river. Those who farm near the river had no idea where the smell could be coming from. The answer only came on Monday, when the huge, decomposing body of a crocodile was found floating in the river.
So far, five crocodiles have been found dead in the river in what residents believe to be the result of poisoning. This has shocked the community, which also relies on water from the same river for consumption.
Ms Munzhedzi Thanyani (62) of Malavuwe Tshitombondo, a small-scale farmer next to where the last crocodile was found, said she used to drink the water from the river while working at her small plot but stopped after the bad smell. "We are still in shock; we have never experienced this before," she said.
Community leader Ms Priscilla Begwa said that the leadership of the community was concerned. “We have no idea what could be killing these crocodiles. Since the beginning of this month, we have seen five crocodiles dead in our local river. It shows that we are not safe,” she said.
Mr Ailwei Nemadzhilili of the Malavuwe Royal Council said they were very shocked about the discoveries. "Our main concern is to determine the cause of the death of these reptiles. We have since approached the nature conservation officials, who conducted some tests on some of these crocodiles and have told us there are suspicions of poisoning. We have requested the community to supply us with information about these incidents.”
Nemadzhilili also warned members of the community not to swim in these waters as they are infested by the huge reptiles.
Date:02 December 2018 - By: Elmon Tshikhudo
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.