Mara River Basin becomes haven of bhang cultivation

By Lake Zone Watch writer

The sprawling Mara River valley is reported to have turned into a haven of the illicit drug trade following the mushrooming of bhang plantations in the area, government sources have confirmed.

The Drug Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) has confirmed that some residents living along the Mara River basin have turned the area into special farm land for bhang cultivation.

The villagers are alleged to have closed the Nkerege village accusing its Executive Officer (VEO) of not supporting them in cultivation of the obnoxious drug in the area.

DCEA Commissioner General Aretas Lyimo, with the support of the police force, national service, and people’s militia, has ordered the destruction of 807 hectares planted with the illicit drug in Tarime district in the Lake Zone Region.

The anti-drug enforcement agency also ordered the immediate destruction of two mini plants engaged in the processing and packing of the drug, in a special operation carried recently.

Mara river forms integral part of the Serengeti – Masai Mara ecosystem.

The transboundary river starts in the Mau forests on the Kenyan side and then flows through Masai Mara Game Reserves and Serengeti National Park before emptying into Lake Victoria in Tanzania.

Besides wildlife conservation, the presence of the Mara River basin supports the lives of about 1.1 million people in both Tanzania and Kenya.

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