“The recent flood waters have brought here giant fishes that have started to bite people,” the residents of Mto-wa-Mbu have complained over the weekend, but on further investigation, we discovered that what bites them are actually eels.
The muddy waters that flooded the entire Mto-wa-Mbu shopping center late last week, have brought many aquatic creatures into the nearby rivers and paddy farms, some of which have started to affect local residents.
“Women and children who have been going to fetch water or wash clothes in rivers have been suffering wounds from serious bites,” explained Mzee Ali Mohammed, a resident of Kigongo-Inn. Mzee Mohammed and a number of Mto-wa-Mbu residents believe that the rains have caused the number as well as the size of fishes to swell, to an extent of attacking people.
Children are now fearing to venture near rivers and adults do so by taking precautions. But others, like Mr. Josephat Lyimo points out that, the area was infested by eels, that are the essentially elongated type of fish and these live in shallow waters and sometimes burrow in sand or mud.
These are also capable of swimming in reverse and occasionally bite humans. The recent rains have caused two adjoining National Parks in the Northern Circuit Tarangire and Lake Manyara to be waterlogged.
Lions and other wildlife species have left their natural habitat in Tarangire National Park and were seen roaming around Makuyuni, but especially along the Road to Mto-wa-Mbu and Manyara Ranch.
“The animals are under strict surveillance, wardens are watching their every step and when the situation calls for it, they may be captured and taken back to any of the nearby National Parks,” stated a conservator with the Tanzania National Parks, Mr Erasto Lufungulo.
As water fills the park, most animals vacate the precincts because ungulates suffer hoof fungi, when the ground is wet or muddy, while carnivores, due to lack of food (brought about by herbivore exodus), they also tend to leave the park for better areas.
In another development, the Lake Manyara which was recently reported to be drying has its water volume replenished and now the water body which is home to hippos has its horizon nearly touching the sky.