The District Security Council (DISEC) in Ayensuano District, Eastern Region, has imposed an indefinite ban on sand winning activities.

The decision, reached during a meeting with sand winning contractors, comes in response to the escalating environmental degradation and conflicts associated with illegal sand mining.

The indiscriminate practices have disrupted investments, led to the destruction of farmlands, and resulted in fatal clashes between farmers and armed illegal sand winners.

Recent victims include a 60-year-old farmer from Teacher Mante community, Boateng Dapaah, who lost his farm to illegal sand winners.

Even a 100-acre land earmarked for a £25 million industrial park project by Blue Skies company fell prey to illegal sand-winning activities, causing extensive damage.

District Chief Executive for Ayensuano Josephine Ansaa Awuku Inkoom, also the Chairperson of DISEC, announced the ban with a six-month review period.

During the period DISEC will streamline and put in place structures to properly regulate sand wining activities in the district.

However, there is skepticism among local farmers who allege that DISEC, in the past, failed to confiscate trucks and excavators used by illegal sand winners.

This skepticism reflects concerns about the enforcement and effectiveness of the ban.

National Organiser for Sand and Stone Miners Association, Baah Boakye Michael, expressed disagreement with the ban but acknowledged the importance of compliance with regulatory frameworks.

He raised concerns about delays in permit acquisition from the Minerals Commission and called for a decentralized permitting process.

Source: Ghana/ Ansah