Acting Upper West Regional Director of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Emmanuel Lignuie has disclosed that as part of efforts to fight rampant sand winning in the region, it is focused on engaging stakeholders to promote sound practices.
On his account, the only way to prevent deforestation and issues of climate change is to engage stakeholders, put them under a single union in order to regulate their activities.
Sand winning in the Upper West region, especially in Wa has become rampant and sees landowners charging as low as Ghc10 per trip of sand winned from their plots. The business which has become lucrative sees large tracts of lands including those in residential areas being destroyed and this has become a huge source of worry to residents.
In addressing the issue, the Upper West Regional EPA has held a meeting with stakeholders and agreed to issue them with environmental permits to legally bind all who want to engage in the sand winning business.
He made this known in an interview with Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show aired on e.TV Ghana and Happy FM.
“We want to issue environmental permits to people who want to join in the business of sand winning. We have held a stakeholder sensitization meeting with landowners, sand winners and the assembly members.
We took them through the effects of sand winning and reached an understanding with the stakeholders. We also made them understand it is an offence and against the environmental laws of the land. We’ve asked those winning the sand to organize themselves into groups that can be identified”.
The regional EPA boss motioned his outfit will in June 2021 begin issuing these environmental permits with conditions. “We will specify how the sand winning is to be done and strategies to save some major trees on these lands”.
By: Joel Sanco