MR FRANK Annor-Dompreh, MP for Nsawam Adoagyiri Constituency in the Eastern Region, Thursday expressed serious concern about the environmental hazards of sand winning at unauthorized sites in some parts of the country.
He has consequently appealed to Parliament to invite the relevant sector ministries to brief them about plans being put in place to fight the menace.
In a statement on the floor of the House, Mr Annor-Dompreh made a passionate appeal to fellow lawmakers to step in to check the situation, which he described as having seen an unprecedented rise.
“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 wining,” Mr Annor-Dompreh said.
He queried: “What are we doing as a legislative body to ensure that laws that protect our environments are made to work effectively?”
According to the MP, sand winning has become so rampant that almost every land piece is vulnerable; with farmers harbouring fears since they do not know exactly when their farms will be destroyed, and crops vandalized to allow for easy collection of sand.
“Farmers go through many harrowing situations. Mr. Speaker, the situations and outcomes related to this particular topic in discussion is no different from those in my constituency, Nsawam Adogyiri.
“Mr Speaker, preliminary checks indicate that Otukwadwo, Avaga, Okobeyeyie, Ahodwo, Nana Boame, Otoase, Pampanso No 1, Gyanakama, Dobro, Chinto, Akraman, Kofi Kwei and others, all within and around my constituency have in the past and are still suffering from the dire and grave effects of sand mining activities.”
Mr Annor-Dompreh said the destruction of farmlands due to illegal sand winning, and other consequences such as bushfires and floods are so grave, noting that, the sand winners also pay no compensation to farmers after destroying their farms.
“Lands are rendered perpetually unproductive. Mr Speaker, aside the damage caused to crops and lands, sand wining activities pose health threats to humans. Moving trucks emit excessive noise and dust, causing pollution and gullies created at these sites to homes become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.”
The MP for Nsawam-Adoagyiri called on the relevant authorities to properly designate areas for the collection of soils, and also ensure that prospective sand winners adequately complete all processes regarding effective land use, evaluation and reclamation.
Mr Richard Quashigah (NDC MP-Keta), in a contribution, drew attention to a similar situation in the Keta Constituency, which he said is aggravated by the ravages of the sea.
“It is a nightmare to the people in my constituency,” he said, and stressed the need for education on the issue to be intensified.