Siavonga Town Council shuts down operations at Zamfresh fish farm

 Siavonga Town Council shuts down operations at Zamfresh fish farm

The Siavonga Town Council has shut down the operations at Zamfresh Fish Farm in Siavonga due to poor sanitation and non-adherence of Covid-19 health guidelines.

Council Public Relations Officer Gwendolyn Mchenga said that the Farm was shut down following an operation that was conducted by a combined team of officers from the district after a tip from the concerned members of the public.

Ms Mchenga said that among the team was the Administration Office, Zambia Police, Office of the President and Siavonga Town Council public health department.

She said the Farm has contravened the Public Health Act Cap 295, Food Safety Act No.7 of the laws of Zambia.

Ms Mchenga said the issues that caused the closure of the farm are poor sanitation, poor management of waste, non-functional of both male and female toilets with fecal matter on the floors and walls, Overcrowding of workers in dormitories and poor ventilation.

Others are discharge of raw sewer into the environment causing pollution to the environment and discharge of untreated effluent from the hatcheries and processing plant into the lake, Usage of untreated water in the fish processing plant.

She said   lack of personal protective clothing for employees including those operating from the lake and failure to provide health and safety policy, non-provision of biosecurity at the main entry (gate) and at the processing plant was also among the reasons led to the closure of the farm.

“The local Authority has since made recommendations that, the Farm must construct new waterborne toilets for both male and female, new dormitories for workers or reduce the number of occupants to four in a room, also construct soak-way to prevent discharge of raw sewer into the environment and ensure that the effluent water from the hatcheries is treated before discharging it into the lake, Treatment of water in the processing plant to avoid contamination of the fish, ensure food handlers are medically examined, Provision of protective clothing for all workers, provision of health and safety policy and Provide covid-19 preventive measures,” she said.

Ms Mchenga said the local authority will give consideration to re-open the farm once the proprietor complies with the Council’s directive and after a subsequent inspection is carried out.