Farmers at Nerebehi worried over sand mining on farmlands

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Farmers at Nerebehi, a farming community in the Atwima Nwabiagya South District of the Ashanti Region have appealed to the government to intervene against unlawful seizure of farmlands.

According to them, one Kwabena Frimpong, a private developer, was gradually turning their farmlands into sand mining sites.

They alleged that the said Frimpong was also involved in selling some of the farmlands as plot to individual developers, claiming he had legal documents to operate.

Even more disheartening, according to them was that he paid no compensation to them when he after taking over their farms and that authorities were taking no steps to address the problem despite numerous petitions.

The farmers after a tour of some of degraded lands with the Ghana News Agency, said the sand mining activities had rendered their lands infertile resulting in high crops failure and destruction of the entire ecosystem.

Mr Augustine Nkrumah Dankwa, a retired teacher who is now into cocoa farming expressed concern about the impunity with which their farms were being destroyed.

“The little cocoa work that I have done on this land is likely to be destroyed. I have a few years to live, and this is what I depend on now. Where do I get food from if this happens?

The contractor is said to have destroyed more than 100 acres of farmlands belonging to over 300 farmers.

“We are pleading with the government to help us to stop this man from further destruction of our lands,” Mr. Dankwa appealed.

This cocoa farm is the only property we have and live on for our very survival,” Madam Afia Frimponmaa, another farmer noted.

Mr Kwabena Antwi, a farmer, said sand miners chased him away when they met him on his cocoa farm.

He recounted how the cocoa farm served as the source of livelihood for himself and the family including the education of his children.

“What pains me is I reported the actions of the developer to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and no concrete action has been taken since. It must take the efforts of the government to bring the operations of this contractor to a stop,” he suggested.

Maame Akosua Achiaa said she had about two acres of plantain, yam, cassava, vegetables, and oil palm that were sadly destroyed.

She said economic hardship was eminent in the area if the wanton destruction of farmlands was not stopped.

By Florence Afriyie Mensah

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