MARA: THE Drug Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) in collaboration with security organs conducted one-week special operation in Mara Region where it destroyed 807 hectares of cannabis farms and seized 507 sacks filled with dried marijuana ready for transportation.
During the operation in Tarime Rorya, 50 sacks of cannabis seeds were also impounded alongside destruction of two factories for processing and packaging such illegal drugs as well as arresting 11 suspects.
Speaking about the event, DCEA Commissioner General Aretas Lyimo said the residents in the district turned the Mara River Basin as special area for growing marijuana.
The residents even restricted people from other areas to approach the river basin without their permission.
“They even closed village chairperson office while condemning Village Executive Officer for not supporting marijuana farming at the area.”
“What the residents do is totally against the law… some dishonest village leaders have been hiring farms to people to grow cannabis,” he said.
Commissioner Lyimo asked the responsible ministries to collaborate with the authority in eliminating weed farming at the area.
“If we leave the cannabis farming continues like this will lead to destruction of ecology at the Serengeti National Park and the River Basin at large, It is necessary to cooperate to ensure that this illegal agriculture is stoppes,’ he argued.
Tulwa Ward Councillor Chacha Machungu said local leaders who support such illegal farming should face legal measures so as it serves as a lesson to others.
Mr Machungu also appealed to religious leaders to insist to the worshipers over negative effects of the narcotics.
One of Tarime residents, Ms Magreth Ally, said many youths cultivate marijuana aiming to get a quick money.
She therefore asked the government to strengthen education on negative effects of the illegal drugs while encouraging people to cultivate crops.
Another resident, Mr Isaya Banda, called on the government to make the operation sustainable to fight against illegal drugs countrywide.