A group, Concerned Citizens of Klikor (Traditional Area), Ketu South, has petitioned Ghana's Minerals Commission to take steps to stop sand winning in the area for export into Togo.
The group said this act, being perpetrated by some companies which had taken major proportions of the area's agriculture lands at Kpoglu, Bodzakope, Dzogbenu, Tsivoli, Akato and Lotakor for the past four years, had begun to exacerbate in the last two-three weeks with new communities such as Satsimadza-Glidzi Junction and AME Junction-Sovie being added.
In a petition that had 85 signatures sent to the Commission and made available to the Ghana News Agency, the group suspected that individuals in powerful places were behind the “nefarious act” claiming, “they use heavy-duty earth moving equipment to collect the sand under heavy police protection and transport same to Togo” making about 500 trips daily.
“An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) needs to be conducted in the area, engaging all stakeholders. However, no EIA was conducted in these areas. Their current sites of operation could serve as safe grounds to relocate to in times of disaster such as floods which are currently affecting residents of the Satsimadza suburbs.
All this while, these contractors or syndicates conduct their operations with blatant disregard for the environment and the affected communities. They go as far as winning sand right behind the buildings of indigenes, all in the name of 'I bought the land.' They go as far as using the police to intimidate the locals whenever they resist the continuous destruction of their feeder roads and farmlands.”
The petition demanded to know from the Minerals Commission whether the operations of the contractors were legal and whether they had undergone the required processes and had been granted permits to win sand from the area for export.
It demanded an immediate cessation of all forms of sand-winning on all Klikor lands in the interim, a directive to the contractors to reclaim all sand-winning sites left unattended, rehabilitation of all the feeder roads destroyed as a result of sand-winning activities and, “cessation of the wanton exportation of sand from our land (Klikor) to neighbouring Togo in the future.”
“Failure to attend to our questions and demands as listed above within five working days will warrant unannounced move for the world to see the destruction being perpetrated in our communities and its attendant health, environmental and security challenges,” the petition warned.