A 12 year old boy in Mangochi died after eating poisonous cooked giant beans locally known as Kalongonda while over 30 others were rushed to hospital after consuming the same.
The incident occurred at Njaidi Village in Traditional Authority Chimwala at around 11:00 a.m, on Monday, according to Mangochi Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Rodrick Maida.
“The boy’s father, Mikeyasi Thomas, reported that the boy, Lali Alidi, together with 32 other people in the village ate the giant beans that were cooked but they all started vomiting and opening bowels afterwards,” explained Maida.
He further said: “They were rushed to Kalembo Health Facility where they were treated as out-patients but the boy died on the way back home while the rest responded to treatment.”
Postmortem carried out at Kalembo Health Centre revealed that his death was due to food poisoning, according to Maida.
Kalongonda, a common giant bean in the southern region, is believed to be poisonous and before consumption, it undergoes a rigorous process when cooking in order to wash away or neutralise the poison it contains.
“There is no shot-cut to the preparation of Kalongonda for consumption,” Reuben Divason, who migrated from Thyolo and settled in Mangochi, told Mana in a separate interview and he believed the boy and the rest might have consumed the beans that were half cooked.
“When cooking Kalongonda you keep on adding water and draining it after it boils to some extent. When boiling, the water is black at first, but as you repeat the boil and drain the water for several times, the beans start producing clear water hinting that the poison has been washed away,” said Divason.
The police have since advised the general public to follow all cooking procedures in preparing the giant Kalongonda as the species of the legume is believed to contain a certain quantity of poisonFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :