A 100-acre land earmarked for the construction of a £25 million ultra-modern industrial town at Kyekyewere in Eastern Region has been invaded by armed sand winners delivering a major setback for the project.

The land situated   along the Accra to Kumasi Highway was acquired by Blue Skies Company in 2018.

However, it has taken a dire turn after task forces of illegal sand winners, wielding guns and operating heavy machinery, invaded the site weeks ago.

A visit to the site revealed a scene of serious devastation.

The armed sand winners, mostly operating under the cover of darkness, have not only damaged 50% of the land but have also destroyed 350 cedar plants planted by Blue Skies as part of their environmental sustainability plan.

Adding to the distress, farms belonging to about 50 smallholder caretaker farmers have been destroyed by the illegal sand winners, who claim to be operating under the authority of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council.

Alistair Djimatey, Public Relations Manager of Blue Skies Company Limited said the investors are shocked by the development and are now contemplating whether to continue with the project, which was projected to create employment opportunities for 4,000 people and generate electricity for industrial activities and the community.

“The idea is to develop this land into an ultra-modern factory with its own electricity system to bring some level of development to this area in order to boost our industrialization drive as a people. Few weeks back we observed a few activities in this area and sadly we came back and observed this level of devastation in the area.” Alistair Djimatey said.

He added “we are investing about £25 million pounds in this project to create job for over 4000 people in this area and at this state we are wondering whether it is necessary for us to go ahead with our intention of building an ultra-modern business because we cannot invest your money when you have no assurance the investment you are putting it in.”

The company has reported the incident to the police, hoping for the swift arrest and punishment of the perpetrators.

“Thankfully we have reported this to police and we hope that we will be able to work with them and the traditional leadership to be able to bring justice to ensure that this thing does not happen again because the focus of the business is to develop this area and create a biodiversity that will be second to none,” Djamatey said.

The Ayensuano district has a history of illegal sand winning activities, leading to clashes between farmers and sand winners, often involving armed land guards and resulting in tragic deaths.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Kojo Ansah