Fisherfolk at Keta in the Volta Region and Bortianor in the Greater Accra Region have complained about Illegal sand winning along the beaches of the two towns.
They indicated that the practice was taking a toll on fishing activities in the two coastal communities and also causing environmental destruction.
According to the fishermen, the illegal activities go on while the district assemblies and the marine police appear unconcerned.
They raised the concern during a capacity building tour to the communities last week by a group of journalists.
The tour was organised by the University of Cape Coast Fisheries and Coastal Management and sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
At Keta Abutiakope, the fisherfolk lamented that the Keta Municipal Assembly had not been able to take stringent measures to address the illegal sand winning.
‘We see people winning the sand here but we are unable to stop them because we do not have the capacity to do so. There have been occasions when we reported the matter to the assembly but nobody was arrested,” Mr Klutse Blewudzi, a fisherman, said.
According to him, nobody will stop a licensed operator from winning sand but the fight is against those who win the sand illegally and degrade the environment in the process.
At Bortianor, the Chief Fisherman, Nii Adama Tettey, stated that his people had not taken kindly to the practice and had on several occasions confronted the illegal operators.
“Sometimes it even turns into a fight between us and them,” he said while recounting when one of the fishermen who raised issues with some of the illegal sand winners ended up being locked up by the police.
Nii Tettey said the sand winning activities was pushing the sea closer to the community.
“If nothing is done about it, we will wake up one day and the Bortianor community will be gone; it will be washed away by the sea. We don’t want this to happen before the government comes in to assist with relief items. We want to live happily here and work for ourselves,” he said.
The chief suggested that regulations for sand winning should be applied strictly for licensed operators while sanctioning those without licence because they were destroying the environment.
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