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04.04.2006 Crime & Punishment

Nine people arrested for allegedly poisoning the Black Volta

By GNA

Wa, April 04, GNA - The Wa police have arrested nine people including two Nigerians for allegedly poisoning the Black Volta river at Tokali near the Wechiaw Hippopotamus sanctuary in the Wa West District. The suspects are Mahama Yaro and Ayisha Mohammed both Nigerians, Lomovi Atakpa and Awukuvi Dzewornu both from the Volta Region and Lawrence Gareyeng, Thomas Begyina, Umar Mahama, Chirasu Sankuri and Mohammed Awah from the Upper West Region.

Briefing the GNA at Wa on Monday, Mr Robert Ayalingo, Deputy Upper West Regional Police Commander said although the suspects allegedly poisoned the river to catch fish, the situation could be dangerous to the Hippopotamus and other animals that drink from the river. He said most of them were arrested with smoked and fresh fish giving enough evidence to the suspected poisoning of the river last week.

Mr Ayalingo expressed concern about the rate people flout laws in the area to poison the river for fishing although the place was a prohibited area for fishing.

He said the police had alerted the game wardens to monitor movements of the Hippopotamus to ensure their safety. The Deputy Police Commander pledged the commitment of the police to intensify their operations in the region to weed out all criminal activities in the flashy areas.

He appealed to residents of the affected communities to be vigilant and report any criminal acts to the police for action. The Hippopotamus sanctuary has become one of the well-patronized tourists attractions in the country due to the behaviour of the animals. Apart from government's efforts, foreign individuals and organisations are also supporting the sanctuary to become a world tourist centre and poisoning of the river could have negative repercussions on the industry.

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