Tanzania destroys marijuana farms in heightened anti-drug campaign
ARUSHA, Tanzania, Feb. 7, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Tanzanian authorities on Wednesday announced to have destroyed six hectares of marijuana planted inside a forest in northern part of the East African nation.
Mwigulu Nchemba, Tanzania’s Minister for Home Affairs who lead the operation, said the destroyed farms were found in Engalaoni village, one of the villages located on the foothills of Mount Meru, the second tallest peak in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro.
Nchemba said in an interview that owners of the destroyed marijuana farms managed to escape, and the manhunt is ongoing.
He said the operation is part of the countrywide anti-narcotics campaign aimed at making Tanzania free from illicit drugs.
The minister said the government will continue with the operation across the country, warning people behind the farming, trading and transporting marijuana to look for another job.
He also tasked local governments to offer support in the fight against marijuana.
Charles Mkumbo, Arusha Regional Police Commander, also said that all the six hectares of marijuana planted in the area were burnt down.
He also noted that the fight against cannabis farming will continue across the region, saying that in recent years perpetrators have changed tactics to move away from police hands by farming the illegal crops in areas that can not be easily reached.
According to him, marijuana is widely grown on the slopes of Mount Meru, protected by poor terrain and resistance from local residents in Arusha region.