Committee to fight against increasing yaqona theft

Green yaqona. Picture: FT FILE

DESPITE increasing yaqona theft in Cakaudrove, the province’s Crime Prevention Committee has assured that it would fight against all odds.
Committee chairman and Vunivalu of Natewa Ratu Ifereimi Buaserau said yaqona theft continued to escalate in the province.
Two weeks ago, the village scheme farm of Natewa was robbed by thieves who uprooted six plants worth $6000.
“It’s a hard fight and farmers have suffered from the increasing yaqona theft and all their hard work is not fairly rewarded because of thieves,” Ratu Ifereimi said.
“The six plants of yaqona stolen were four years old and the purpose of starting our village farm is to help us with our long-term plans and projects.
“We are working closely with Government and the police to reduce the cases of yaqona theft.”
The high prices of yaqona, he said, had attracted thieves.
“But we are doing all we can to ease the situation,” he said.
“Farmers have also been prohibited to sell green yaqona except dried yaqona and this is one way of combating yaqona theft.”
The committee has also increased sporting activities in the province to involve youths.
In these activities, Ratu Ifereimi said police and other government officials had been roped in to hold awareness programs for the villagers.
“It is another educating program to inform our people about the better things we can all do in life to achieve well instead of stealing,” he said.
“Government assistance has also been made known to villagers and how they can access it to help themselves first.”
Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea earlier confirmed to this newspaper that sale of green yaqona had been banned in the North.

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