Sand Winning Destroys Beaches

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has urged block makers and contractors to contact licensed tipper truck operators for sand instead of engaging unauthorized persons to win sand at the beach. According to the EPA, alternate sites had been identified by the Minerals Commission where some tipper truck operators had been licensed to cart sand as part of measures to avert the effects of illegal sand wining. Mr. Peter Ackon, the Central Regional Senior Programmes Officer of the EPA, said this at a forum organized by “Save our Beaches”, a non- governmental organization in Cape Coast on how to protect the beaches.. The forum dubbed “Our Beaches, Our Heritage and Our Role” was attended by representatives from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Oguaa Traditional Council, fisher folks and a cross section of the public. Mr. Ackon said due to illegal winning of sand at the beaches, some residents had been compelled to abandon their homes while road networks close to the sea were being destroyed. He expressed worry that some residents had turned the beaches into refuse and sewage dumps, defecating area and place to rear animals when it was a constitutional requirement for them to protect the environment. Prof. Joseph Afful, the Vice Dean of the School Of Graduate Studies, University of Cape Coast, said it was regrettable that rampant sand winning and other activities were destroying the country's coastline. He said 40 percent of the world’s population lived along the beaches and it was important to protect the beaches since the sea created employment for fishermen, provided fish for consumption and boosted the hospitality industry. Prof Afful commended the government for the institution of the sanitation day but called for a closer collaboration with the citizenry as well as the enforcement of laws since non-enforcement of laws was the reason behind the continual indiscipline in the country. Nana Kwame Adu VI, Tufuhen of the Oguaa Traditional Area, who presided over the event, said it was important for stakeholders to collaborate to protect the beaches. Mr. Paa Kwesi Wilson, Executive Secretary of Save our Beaches, said the NGO aims at collaborating with organizations to create public awareness through education and sensitization programmes to protect the beaches.