The people of Mele village were shocked to find dead prawns of all sizes, floating along certain sections of the river and even crawling onto the dry land yesterday morning.
Chief Simeon Poilapa told Daily Post that the sudden presence of the dead prawns could be an indication that the water was contaminated with a chemical substance.
He said they suspected that some irresponsible people have poisoned the upper reaches of the river and a “full investigation will be conducted to find out those who are responsible”.
Chief Poilapa added the impacts of climate change could not be blamed for this occurrence.
A frustrated Poilapa said this was not the first time to see dead prawns floating on the surface of the river.
More than 5, 000 people are relying on the river for washing, bathing and cooking purposes, daily.
The chief has asked locals to stop using the river,until the investigation is complete. Locals are discouraged from consuming the prawns as well.
Meanwhile, chief Poilapa also appealed to the the public to provide information of any individual or party who might be responsible for the possible contamination of their water source.