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Ketu South MCE temporarily bans sand winning, opens investigations into illegal acts

Mr Maxwell Koffie Lugudor, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Ketu South, has directed a temporary ban on commercial sand winning in the enclave.

The directive, he said, was to allow for investigations into concerns raised by a group, Concerned Citizens of Klikor regarding sand winning and its attendant health, environmental and security challenges to residents.

Mr Lugudor was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in reaction to the August 25 petition by the group addressed to Ghana’s Minerals Commission and copied to his office and that of other key stakeholders.

The petition, which had 85 signatures demanded, among others, a “cessation of the wanton exportation of sand from our land (Klikor) to neighbouring Togo in the future” claiming, the act had taken major proportion of the area’s agriculture lands with heavy-duty earth moving equipment collecting the sand and transporting same to Togo, making about 500 trips daily.

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Mr Lugudor said as the MCE for the area, he was moved to take that action to serve the best interest of all.

“I stopped everybody from winning sand the moment I got a copy of the petition. So now, there is a ban on sand winning in Ketu South until further notice. I know that the people winning sand have legal documents from the Minerals Commission but if people are crying, I have to act. I am father for all and a listening MCE.”

He said he had already met the contractors to explain the situation to them and was looking forward to having a discussion with the petitioners on the way forward, saying, it was important to manage the sand winning activity as it was providing jobs to the youth in the area.

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Mr Epiphany Klutsey, Chairman, Tipper Truck Owners and Drivers Association, an association of operators in sand winning activities in the Ketu South Municipality, said though their members were not involved in exporting sand to Togo, they had taken the directive to them to temporarily stop their operations, in good faith.

“Our members are compliant. We don’t just dig anywhere anyhow. The perpetrators come from elsewhere, collect the sand and go out with it and we’ve always been against these individuals. And that is why I would have loved that they had dealt with those exporting the sand to Togo separately and left us the locals to work instead of giving a general directive.”

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“In any case, we are here in the Municipality and can be called upon anytime to reclaim the land as we ever did. But those individuals who come with Togo-registered trucks and without permit to operate, how do you get them? It’s as if we’re destroying Ghana to build Togo,” he said.

Credit: GNA

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