A total of 160 fisherfolk drawn from fishing communities in the Kpone Katamanso Municipal Assembly of the Greater Accra Region were yesterday sensitised to illicit drug trafficking.
The programme was organised by the Narcotic Control Commission (NACOC) in collaboration with the Assembly, with funding from the German Development Corporation (GIZ) and UKaid.
The participants included fishermen, canoe owners and fish mongers and fish loaders.
The acting Director of Research and Policy Planning of NACOC, Mr Sylvester Koomson, told the Ghanaian Times that the education followed recent arrest of nine Ghanaian fishermen in Nigeria with narcotic drugs (cannabis).
He stressed the need to engage the participants on the menace of drug trafficking in the coastal areas of the country.
Mr Koomson said fisher folks along the coastal areas such as Ada, Osu, Teshie and La in the Greater Accra Region would be educated on effects of illicit drugs, adding that “similar programmes would be replicated in the Coastal areas in Central and Western regions.”
The Deputy Narcotic Control Officer of Drug Preventive and Education Department of NACOC, Mr Raphael Acquaye, in a presentation on illicit drugs enumerated reasons for drug use to include negative peer pressure, lack of monitoring, ineffective communication, personal drug use and positive attitude towards use.
He mentioned some of the effects of illicit drugs as risks of getting sexually transmitted disease, addiction, loss of personal ambition, high cost of rehabilitation and social vices among others.
Mr Acquaye said culprits of illicit drug trafficking could be imprisoned between 10 and 25 years.
The Chief Fisherman of Kpone Traditional Area, Nii Noitey Charway III, urged the fisherfolk to partner the state security agencies to clamp down on activities of narcotic drugs in the industry.
He appealed to the fisherfolk to be vigilant during operations saying “we must all support the fight against drug trafficking in our area, when there are consequences we would all be held accountable.”
The Chief Fisherman commended the NACOC for the initiative and called for more of such collaboration.
Nii Charway said their sensitisation programme would educate them on the dos and don’ts associated with narcotic drugs during the discharge of their operations.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI