By Zwelethu Zikhali
Kamativi, October 16, 2016 – A Kamativi family has been plunged into mourning after two minor daughters drowned while trying to catch fish in a local dam.
The girls, aged 11 and 7, were buried on Friday as a sombre atmosphere engulfed the former tin mining Hwange district community.
The two siblings drowned in a dam called Number 4 on Saturday last week as they tried to retrieve a fishing net they had cast into the dam to catch fish but got stuck on boulders.
The two minors had gone to water a family garden in the company of their 17 year old brother, according to their father Shadreck Nyathi.
“They had gone to tend the garden at the dam in the company of their brother who is aged 17. As usual, they carried with them some mealie meal to prepare their lunch because that’s what we usually do owing to the amount of work at the garden,” said their heartbroken father.
Nyathi said when it was time for lunch, their brother sourced a net for them and sent them to catch fish while he prepared Isitshwala/sadza in the garden.
“When it was time for lunch, their brother asked for a fishing net from a neighbour and sent them to the dam to catch fish while he remained preparing Isitshwala,” he said.
The net reportedly got stuck under the water and that is when the two drowned as they tried to retrieve it.
The dam was once a sewer pond which developed into a dam closer to disused mine shafts which have also developed into the deeper end of the dam.
The Kamativi community use the dam for domestic purposes because of erratic water supplies in the former mine.
A search team comprising police and villagers searched for the bodies and only retrieved them on Monday morning.
Nyathi said the bodies were taken to a mortuary for post mortem before their burial Friday.
Timothy Mvula, who chairs a Kamativi residents group, said efforts were being made to raise awareness about the dangers associated with the dam as this was not the first time past five years people have drowned in the dam.
Councillor Joshua Tshuma said they will call a meeting in the near future to discuss the issue as the dam is dangerous to human life.
Kamativi residents largely depend on borehole and dam water as the Hwange Rural District Council is failing to supply enough.
The dams were once mining shafts and pose a danger to the community due to pollution and drowning.