14 Jun 2017 15:20pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 14 JUN (NAMPA) Juvenile delinquents last Wednesday evening allegedly destroyed and stole oranges and naartjies worth nearly N.dollars 17 000 at the Fonteintjie Aquaculture Project in Keetmanshoops Tseiblaagte suburb.
This is according to Fonteintjie Project Manager Peter Simasiku, who described the incident as a devastating loss to the fish farm and fruit project this Wednesday.
A case was opened with the police which, according to Simasiku, apprehended three underage boys from the same house that previously drained fish tanks and carried off thousands of fish last year.
It was the third break-in at the project in two years.
Late last year, our mango trees were also stripped and destroyed, a dejected Simasiku told Nampa.
He said he was informed by police investigators that the boys indicated that they were sent to steal the citrus fruit by older men, who allegedly cut the fence through which they entered.
The cost to fix the fence based on a quotation we obtained is a further N.dollars 12 000, while there likely will be no consequence for the boys because they are minors, Simasiku said.
The fruits were near-ripe and would have been the first harvest of the project.
The plan was to distribute the first harvest to vulnerable groups in Keetmanshoop in consultation with local councillors, Simasiku said.
The fruits are grown alongside the fish that are then sold to local communities at reduced prices.
The fruit trees in excess of 200 were donated to the project by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, which also provided manpower to establish the garden.
Fonteintjie, meanwhile, appointed six community members on a contractual basis to water and maintain the trees.
Our colleagues at the ministry and our staff are so disappointed, because they were all looking forward to see the final product of their input, Simasiku said.
Fonteintjie is an initiative of the Keetmanshoop Urban Constituency and resorts under the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.