Illegal sand wining along the Cape Coast and Elmina shorelines have risen increasing the effect of high tidal waves and posing serious threat to the lives of people living in communities along the affected areas.

The affected communities are Amoakofua, Ahiaboboi, Amanful, Victoria Park, Bakaano, Duakor, OLA, Idun, all in the Cape Coast Metropolis as well as Iture and the Coconut Grove area at Elmina.

Some communities in the hinterland such as Ankaful and Birimso have also not been left out as they have been affected by the illegal activities, leaving huge and dangerous trenches and manholes.

The GNA gathered that the illegal said winners, who allegedly have backing from some political figures and traditional rulers in the Metropolis, have large concessions in the area and are in brisk business regardless of the effect of the activity.

GNA investigations also revealed that about 20 to 30 trucks of sand are carted both day and night with majority of the trucks from the Region.

Some truck drivers were arrested last Wednesday evening by a team set up by the Metropolitan Chief Executive for Cape Coast, Ms. Priscilla Arhin, who is bent on stemming the activities of the illegal sand winners to save the environment from further destruction.

Ms. Arhin said the Assembly was collaborating with the Metropolitan Police Command to take serious action against the illegal miners.

She pledged to give logistics to aid the team in combating the illegal activities and said she was considering the possibility of regularizing some concessions to help the Assembly monitor their activities to stem environmental degradation.

When contacted on the issue the Metropolitan Police Commander, Chief Superintendent of Police Samuel Winful, said the Police had launched investigation into the alleged collection of money from tipper truck drivers by some members of the taskforce as well as the involvement of chiefs and politicians in the act.

He said one concern of the police was land owners who had given their land out to some individuals in exchange for money and that the police were doing their best to address the issue.

Mr Winful said two trips of sand seized during the joint operation of the CCMA Taskforce and other task forces from Accra and Kasoa had been deposited at the Central Regional Police headquarters and the drivers arrested had been given police enquiry bail.

He said some people had now resorted to molding cement blocks at the beach and that the blocks had been seized and packed at the Metropolitan Police station possibly to be used to build some of its structures destroyed by the activities.

He said the Command was working together with the CCMA, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) so that appropriate places would be marked for sand winning.

The Coordinating Director of CCMMA, Mr. Bernard Dsane, said sand winning was of great concern to the Assembly and it was doing it best by supporting the Police with logistics to curb it. GNA

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