Monday, June 30, 2014

Sand-winning destroying farmlands — MP

By Edmund Smith-Asante, PARLIAMENT HOUSE


The Member of Parliament for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, has said sand-winning is destroying many arable lands in the country.

He called Parliament’s attention to the destruction when he presented a statement on the floor of the House.

“I wish to draw the attention of this august house to the unprecedented level of sand-winning on our land sites. Almost every corner of this country has some negative story to tell about sand winning in recent times. Forests have been pulled down, coastal soils massively scooped and savannah areas degraded through sand-winning.

“Mr Speaker, l have no doubt in my mind that attempts aimed at promoting food production and security would be fruitless unless negative activities like sand-winning on our arable lands are properly checked and managed,” he said. 

Beaches and communities destroyed
Mr Annoh-Dompreh also stated that “sand-winning has rendered many well-patronised beaches, including the once famous Dansoman and Korle-Gonno beaches, useless and dangerous because of the strength of the waves.

“What makes the activities of the sand-mining disgusting is that they destroy the farmlands. They [perpetrators] hardly give farmers prior notification. Immediately they complete their contract agreement with the so-called land owners, they quickly move to the site to initiate destruction,” he said.

Proposed solutions
To deal with the challenges of sand-winning, Mr Annoh-Dompreh asked for the enforcement of the law on sand winning and the resourcing of the various districts, municipals and metropolitan assemblies, the Ghana Police Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the ministries of Tourism and Lands and Natural Resources and legally empowering them to prosecute illegal sand winners.

He cautioned that Ghana’s resolve to mitigate the negative effects of climate change may face serious hiccups if authorities continued to relax instead of clamping down on sand-winning at unauthorised locations.

Praying the House to summon the relevant sector ministries to brief Parliament on plans put in place to fight the menace, Mr Annoh-Dompreh noted that it would be ideal if the authorities could properly designate areas for sand-winning. 

“They must also ensure that prospective sand winners adequately complete all processes regarding effective land use, evaluation and reclamation to allow for the protection of other people’s welfare in the society,” he proposed.

Commenting on the statement, the Member of Parliament for Keta, Mr Richard Mawuli Quashigah, indicated that although his constituency continued to suffer the ravages of the sea, the menace of sand-winning remained a nightmare as far as efforts at promoting the area’s large tourism potential was concerned. 

Writer’s email: Edmund.Asante@graphic.com.gh

This was first published by the Daily Graphic on June 28, 2014 

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