Palm wine tappers in the Yilo Krobo district of the Eastern region have resorted to poisonous chemicals such as Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) to collect sap in the palm tree, Eastern Regional local Journalist Kojo Ansah’ investigations have uncovered.
According to the tappers, the DDT help increase production unlike the traditional means of burning palm branches to aid with the fluid collection.
They also revealed the poisonous substance (DDT) helps preserve the sap hole from decaying easily, reduces the hassle of cauterizing and scalding the sap holes for over a week instead of burning palm branches daily.
The palm wine tappers were captured on camera applying the DDT on the sap holes during the investigations.
An Agricultural Extension Officer in the area who spoke under condition of anonymity for fear of attack, said the practice is very dangerous, however, he said he was helpless since he cannot arrest the culprits who have defied his advice.
A resident at the area who is fascinated about the practice told Kojo Ansah, it has been a practice for the palm wine tappers in most rural areas in the Yilo Krobo district.
He added that the practice is very dangerous to the health of consumers hence the need for urgent action to be taken.
Traditionally, palmwine tappers burn bundle of palm branches using a blowing straw, cauterize the bottom and all four sides of the catchment hole, the tapper then removes the burned surface of the side, then allow the sap to flow into the hole.
The tappers then scrap the scald off the higher end of the collecting hole, cut a thin slice off the side on the higher end of the hole so that the sap inside the trunk will flow into the hole while preserving the sap holes from rotting easily.
Source: Kojo Ansah E/R