The Chairperson and Leader of the Convention People's Party (CPP), Nana Akosua Frimpomaa-Sarpong has challenged claims by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Fisheries Commission that its officials led the rescue and release of 38 dolphins that were washed ashore at Axim-Bewire last Sunday back into the sea.
According to her, she and some executive members of the CPP witnessed the incident at first hand and spearheaded the rescue of more than 40 dolphins "without the contribution of any expert."
Addressing a press conference at East Legon in Accra Wednesday, April 7, 2021, Nana Frimpomaa-Sarpong also claimed that her team counted more than 380 dolphins washed ashore last Sunday, April 4, 2021 contrary to the 120 figure reported in the media.
According to her, the CPP team spent more than eight hours at the scene during which period "no expert" came to the scene until Monday morning when "we had already rescued some of the animals and had sent them to a much safer place."
She therefore demanded that the EPA and the Fisheries Commission "tell the actual story" and recognise the role played by the CPP team in rescuing the dolphins.
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Telling her side of the story, Nana Frimpomaa-Sarpong said she travelled to Axim in the Western Region last Sunday together with some executive members of the CPP to inspect an abandoned factory in the area which was constructed by its founder, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
She said as part of the visit, she decided to visit the chief of Axim to discuss ways the factory could be revived to create employment in the area.
She indicated that while on their way, the team saw from a distance "plenty big fish voluntarily swimming to the shore."
"By the time we got close we realised they were dolphins and we saw plenty of them with blood oozing from their mouths. We counted 380 of them and we knew that something was wrong because it was not normal."
She said the team decided to engage the chief of the area on the development and find ways to return the dolphins only for them to realise multitudes of people storm the shore to "catch the animals for sale and consumption"
“I pleaded with them not to kill the animals because we couldn’t not establish what accounted for them being washed ashore, but they did not listen to me. Some of them demanded that I give them money before they release the animals. I gave them an unspecified amount and we were able to convey more than 40 of the animals to a much safer place so we could release them back into the sea.
No expert support
Nana Frimpomaa-Sarpong insisted that no expert from either the EPA or the Fisheries Commission was at the scene last Sunday until the next day that the surviving mammals were released back into the sea.
“We are not saying that anyone should pay us for what we did but at least we should be recognised and applauded for our selfless contribution,” she stressed.
Nana Frimpomaa-Sarpong appealed to the Fisheries Commission and the EPA to conduct a thorough investigation to ascertain what truly accounted for the death of the dolphins because “this is not normal.”
She also appealed to the government to offer some compensation packages to the fisher folks in the area who had already processed the marine mammals for consumption and sale to encourage them to return it voluntarily for safe disposal.