Tension AtAhwereaseObonwedwera Over Illegal Sand Winning
Tension is gradually mounting at AhwereaseObonwedwera, a farming community near Nsawam in the Eastern Region, following the invasion of the community by illegal sand winners and its wanton destruction of crops of farmers with impunity.
The sand winners have employed the services of alleged land guards wielding machetes and guns and ready to unleash terror on the farmers in order to scooping the sand from portions of the earth surface for building construction and other developmental purposes.
The sand winners use excavators to win sand on vast farmlands and transport the same with tipper trucks by day and night to unknown destinations.
Residents have since protested over the destruction on their lands as it may add to their already existing challenges. This is because their palm tree, orange, coconut, plantain, cassava and maize have been damaged by the contractors without giving them any compensation.
In an interview with The Chronicle, the queen mother for the area, Nana Afari Gyamea II expressed grave concern over the situation, since the activities, if not stopped immediately, would increase the already alarming economic situation of the people.
According to the queen mother, the illegal sand winners are going round with the message that they were sent to the place by the overlord of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, Osagyefo Amotia Ofori Panin.
She disclosed that it would be highly unpardonable and unbelievable if indeed, they were sent to the area to unleash this illegal activity by the Okyehene, who is an environmental crusader and, therefore, challenged the respected chief to speak.
“I know that Osagyefo would never do that. He is a man who fights for the sustainability of the environment and would, therefore, not destroy the same environment he is crusading for”, she stressed.
Nana Afari Gyamea II hinted the sand winning activities have serious negative effects on farming with most farmlands being leased for sand winning purposes and illegal activities of these unscrupulous individuals would not only affect the economic construction of the area but also the health of the people.
She mentioned health problems like malaria, skin diseases, burrili ulcer among others, are found associated with indiscriminate sand winning activities.
Responding to the challenge thrown to Okyehene, the boundary Chief (OkyemanMponoahene), BarimaTwumTabriadi II has denied that, his boss has not sent and asked anybody or contractor to win sand in the said area.
According to him, the contractors are tarnishing the image of the Osagyefo Amoatia and at the same time damaging their property (land) and,therefore, warned contractors who used Osagyefo Amoatia to excavate land to abstain from such deeds.
He explained that the intolerable actions of the contractors have become a major problem to the traditional council where the council has cautioned contractors on several occasions to desist from the act.
He said even if investors need some of their land to establish factories and other things, it would be very difficult for them to provide because they cannot do anything on the land if it is being spoiled.
Giving instances of events, BarimaTwumTabriadi II averred that the same issue had happened at BonkuaMfaso area about 9 months ago with support from some chiefs in the area.
BarimaTwumTabriadi II opined that they have informed the police service on this issue for many times but they seem not to be interested in the matter, a situation that beats their imagination.
“We don’t know whether the police in this area has been bribed because anytime they set out to arrest contractors, they will escape from them and they don’t do anything to show their concern on that matter,” he stressed.
To him, they have investigated and have gathered pieces of information that some of the police personnel in their area are in support of the contractors because they have been given them some money.