Piqued by the rising waves of water pollution in the country, The Nasarawa state wing of Fisheries Cooperative of Nigeria Limited has appealed to the state government to as matter of urgency swing into action to avert the death of fish and other aquatics as well the safety of animals within the riverine areas.
The state acting chairman, Honorable Mohammed Bahir Umar gave the indication during an interview with Journalists at his abode in Lafia, The chairman said the call became imperative due to the menace of pollution leading to the death of fish and other seafood.
He opined that the activities of illegal fishermen using Gamalin 20, dynamite, and other harmful substances to catch fish potent dangers not only to fish but also to animals grazing within the body of water as a well human being.
Calling on the state ministry of Agriculture and Water Resource to intensify security and surveillance of water so as to avert the reoccurrence of the ugly breach of peace in Akwanga Local Government in 2018.
Recalling that the activities of illegal fishermen claimed the lives of over 150 cows during grazing, saying the situation cost the state government time and resource to quell the outbreak of skirmishes between Fulani herders and farmers in the area.
Hon. Bashir, a seasoned fisherman said the state is experiencing a shortage of both freshwater fish and fish farming, He further disclosed that fish is been brought to the state from Ibadan.
‘’Journalist is quite disheartening that Nasarawa state communities almost majority are within the river Benue but still we are having insufficient fish, reason been that those perpetrating such crime are allowed to continue with their illegal business of catching fish with the aid of dynamite and chemical which is dangerous to human life’’.
Recalling the mass death in Benue state after the consumption of fish caught with chemicals, calling on the state ministry of Justice to repeal the obsolete law inherited from the then Northern Nigeria.
He also blamed politicians over the hand in glove to punish recalcitrant when arrested and handed over to the judiciary for prosecution, recollecting how politicians set people apprehended and handed over to the court in Doma Local Government free.
Commending the swift intervention of the Council chairman of Doma, Hon. Rabo Sani, whom he said deployed soldiers to the affected area, Hon. Muhammed Bashir Umar explained that the molestation and arrest of the culprits have drastically reduced the activities of illegal fishermen in the area.
Appealing to other Local Government Councils of Awe, Keana, Nasarawa to copy the exemplary style of their Doma counterpart so as to save lives due to the effect of consuming fish caught with Gamalin 20 and other deadly substances.
‘’vast of our ‘’hard to reach’’ communities relied on river, stream, and pond water which are been polluted without recourse to the lives of the people within the vicinity’’.
‘’poisoned fish when consumed cause diarrhea resulting in death due to the presence of chemicals, chemical fish, he added is more harmful on children and pregnant women’’.
Calling on fish consumers to always patronized the fish market, He maintained that going to the fish market would help in dictating the dealer in case of any complication arising from the consumption of fish.
‘’in our approved market we dictate fish caught with Gamalin 20 and other chemicals because it instantly decomposed within a short period’’
He reeled out some of the challenges of the fishing business to include lack of support from the state government especially under the present administration in the state.
He in addition said fishermen constitute 30 percent of voters in the state but were neglected after the election.
The state acting chairman lamented the rise in feeds aftermath of the coronavirus lockdown, He explained that a bag of coupon feed which was sold for N6500 is now N8000.