The illegal activities of sandwinners, at Ashifla, a farming community, near Obom, in the Ga South municipality, continued to destroy large tracts of pineapple farms and other food crops in the area.
In addition the sandwinners also terrorise the community members with guns and other deadly weapons.
Three communities, Ahadzi Kondo, Fatordzi and Daklo, are the most seriously affected.
Nii Ashitey Tetteh, Head of Okotsoshi Shi Family of Ngleshi, James Town, and owners of the land, has therefore appealed to the government for an urgent intervention to stop the land degradation.
He said the “illegal sandwinners, armed to the teeth with guns, and other dangerous weapons, operated only in the night, and threatened to kill anyone who challenged them and if the government did not intervene, this time round, its policy of One District, One Factory could not materialise in the area.
Nii Ashitey Tetteh said a series of complaints were lodged with the government since March, 2018, but to no avail.”
He mentioned Nii Obligah Quaye, chief of Otate; Asafoatse Kpakpo, Okyeame Kpobi, and Conard Estates Limited, as those allegedly responsible for the land degradation.
Afla Qauye, Kondo Yaovi, and Madam Edo Klu, all farmers, confirmed the trauma they went through, in the hands of the illegal sandwinners, who were mostly armed with guns to the Spectator.
The three, and other farmers in the area have for the past years, lost a very large stretch of farmlands and crops.
The Spectator in its Saturday, March 3, 2018 edition first published a story about an imminent famine to hit Ashifla, if illegal sandwinning continued.
The Ga South Municipal Assembly at that time, denied ever issuing a permit to anyone to win sand there, and assured that perpetrators would be brought to book.
A senior officer at the Ga East Municipal Assembly also confirmed the story and
said even though he was not authorised to speak on the issues; the Assembly was taking steps to stop the illegal sandwinners in their track before any further damage was caused.
Ashifla and the surrounding communities were noted for the production of cassava, plantain, sugar cane, pepper, garden eggs, and other vegetables in large quantities
supplied to Accra and other towns within the Greater Accra Region.
But with the advent of real estate development, all the arable lands in the area were sold to sandwinners, and estate developers who turned these lands into mega cities.
By Francis Xah