Chiefs and sand winning contractors in the Ga South Municipality have been cautioned to stop the rampant illegal sand winning activities in the area.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Ga South Municipal Assembly, Mr Joseph Nyarni gave the caution at the 35th annual farmers and fishers day celebration held at Obom in the Ga South Municipality, last Friday.
He said, an investigation conducted showed that illegal activities were aided by some chiefs and estate developers through the lease of lands to sand winning contractors whose activities were destroying the arable lands.
Mr Nyarni therefore, urged those without the licence in sandwinning to put an end to the practice before they were caught up by the law and face stringent punishment.
He expressed worry about the constant illegal sand winning in certain parts of the districts which had been a contributing factor to the decline of agricultural output in the municipality.
“That has also made the youth and those unemployed continue to turn blind eyes to government’s initiatives which offer more sustainable jobs,” he added.
Mr Nyarni said, since the beginning of the year, the Assembly through Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) had undertaken several operations to clamp down on the illegal sand winning in the municipality.
He noted that, operations have been a challenging one due to various exit routes into nearby districts, but assured that, the assembly remained committed to ensuring that agricultural lands are protected.
The Chief Executive said, agriculture and its related activities would continue to thrive as government through the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and the Ghana Jobs and Skill Project has instituted initiatives such as the “You Start” for all interested entrepreneurs.
He asked the youth to take advantage of the initiative to improve their lives.
A mother-to-child unit, Mr Nyarni said, had been initiated for the Obom Health Centre this year and was about 90 percent completed to serve the people, especially, pregnant women who hitherto travel to Amasaman and Nsawam for delivery.
This, he said formed part of plans to upgrade the Health Centre to a polyclinic to serve residents in the district.
He said, the assembly would continue to create and sustain the enabling environment for agricultural production and its related businesses to grow, because it was the surest way to bring the country back on the path of prosperity.
On her part, the Municipal Director of Agriculture, Ms Dorinda Akpene Agar appealed to government to put in place some good land use policies to ensure that agriculture transformation prevailed.
According to her, good roads and transportation coupled with marketing research would curb post-harvest losses in the districts.
She said, next year more attention would be given to snail and mushroom value chains to create income as well as improve nutrition.
Ms Agar urged farmers in the district to visit Akutuase, a small technology village where pig and catfish production was done using indigenous micro-organism technology and equip themselves with new skills in order to sustain their farming business.
She said the directorate had coconut seedlings for farmers with large tract of farm lands for production and value addition in order to promote local business and export.
Five farmers and fisher farmers from Tuba, Langma, Mangoase, Buum and Akweiman were presented with farm tools, such as tricycle, wellington boots, mattresses, silver pans, wheel barrows, fridge and certificates.
The overall best farmer went to Mr Dauda Allotey from Akweiman, in the Ga South Municipality.
He was presented with items such as tricycle, mattress, Agro chemicals, silver pans, wellington boots, and wheelbarrows.
FROM DANIEL AMOO, OBOM