Over twenty acres of cashew farms in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region have been destroyed by a group of “hunters” who indiscriminately set bushes ablaze in search of bush meat.
Mr. Donlare Yiriwele, a peasant farmer in Gojuteng, a suburb of Wechiau in the Wa West District, who was affected by the activities of this group, disclosed that his cashew plantation of about twenty acres was set ablaze over the weekend.
According to Mr. Yiriwele, on Saturday, February 8, around 4pm, a group of young men, wielding cutlasses, guns and other locally made hunting tools, invaded his farmlands, apparently hunting for bush meat. He said he rushed to the farm upon tipoff to safeguard his cashew plantation. Upon seeing them entering nearby farms, efforts geared at stopping them from passing through his farm to carry out their hunting expedition proved futile. He looked on helplessly and haplessly as the young men, numbering over 100, with their over 200 dogs search through all the bushes within and around his farmlands for game.
On his return to the farm the next morning, Donlare Yiriwele observed that the cashew plantation had burnt. He also traced evidence of hunting expedition in the farm, where similar bushes around the farm were burnt and evidence of the hunters roasting and eating yams.
Mr. Yiriwele’s farm is made up of six acres of yam, three acres of cassava and about twenty acres of cashew. The cashew plantation, according to him, is a source of livelihood to him and his family over the past few years. He bemoaned the effect this disaster would bring to the family as this year’s harvest would be affected negatively. Donlare Yiriwele is therefore calling on the Wa West District Assembly, NADMO, Security Agencies, individuals and cooperate groups to come to his aid.
Gojuteng was not the only community affected as there have been reports from other parts of the district indicating the activities of these hunting groups. It is further alleged that this group of hunters sometimes engage in killing domestic animals belonging to members of the communities they go. The damage caused is estimated to have affected over 20 acres of cashew farm, and other properties in the district.
Residents in Lassia Tuolu who also complained of the presence of the hunters in the district, narrated that they parked their truck, buses and other motorbikes in the community before spreading to nearby communities to hunt.