An animal suspected to be a hippo has damaged maize crops belonging to Nkhata Bay Prison on the night of Wednesday July 27, 2022.
According to Officer-in-Charge for the prison, Snr Superintendent Ibrahim Emmanuel Sinde, said the damage was discovered Thursday morning when his officers and inmates had gone for their routine activities at the garden.
He said: “This is not only a threat to the rest of the crops under irrigation at the garden but a major set back in our efforts to complement dietary demands of the inmates.”
The maize which is above knee height and near tussling, compliments diet at the prison as well as being sold to the surrounding communities to generate extra income for the facility.
In addition to the maize, the prison produces vegetables throughout the year, an initiative that goes beyond food security to providing agripreneurial skills to inmates so that once released they become productive members of society.
District Environmental Officer, Never Mulungu said her office was in contact with the Department of Parks and Game Reserves and the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) as they have direct mandate on such issues.
Random sources at Nkhata Bay Boma say the place which forms a confluence of Nkhata Bay River a few meters from Chikale Bridge has had hippos appearing and being shot in 1973 and 1978.
Nkhata Bay Prison is currently housing 174 inmates against a capacity of 80 inmates.