There is tension between the indigenes of Anfaso, a farming community in the Ayensuano District of the Eastern region and illegal sand winners.
The people of Anfaso are angry at the activities of these winners which they say is destroying their crops.
The sand winners have employed the services of land guards wielding machetes and guns unleashing terror on the farmers scaring them away from their own farms.
Ayensuano District is among districts in Ghana grappling with the menace of illegal Sand winning.
Activities of illegal Sandwinners have led to many clashes which some were fatal.
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In the heat of the situation, an Adhoc Parliamentary Select Committee visited the District in 2018 for assessment of the devastation and degradation caused by the sand winners to inform a national policy intervention.
However, the scourge of illegal Sandwining continues to plaque many farming communities in the Ayensuano District affecting their source of livelihood and drinking water.
Anfaso is the latest community the illegal sand winners have sneaked their activities to. They use land guards to terrorize resident by firing warning shots in the bush scaring farmers daring to demand compensation for their destroyed farms.
The sand winners use excavators to win sand on varse farmlands and transport same with tipper trucks day and night to Accra.
“Nobody told as anything. All that we saw is the Sand winners on our farms with land guards firing warning shots and threatening us. When we approached them they just tell you to come for peanut as compensation. A farm I have ploughed with Ghc1,500 they said I should come for Gh300. When I complained they threatened to bury me with the excavator,” a farmer fumed.
The Odikro of the Community, Nana Akua Kroma III, is worried over the continuous threat by persons claiming ownership of the area.
“We have not known peace on this land. Every now and then people lay claim that these lands belong to them whereas our forefathers bought this land and settled here for over a century”
Assembly Member for the Area, Ebenezer Ofori, said the Local Police has failed to stop the sand winners despite numerous complaints by the farmers, therefore, they may take the laws into their own hands.
“This area is a farming community. Farming is the source of livelihood for the people so the way the sand winners have invaded this area destroying their crops with impunity is hurting. When you call the Police they don’t come. The Sandwinners are mentioning Okyenhene’s name as the one who gave them the go-ahead. What they are doing if they are not stopped, I will purchase catapult for my people to defend the lands”
Meanwhile, at the time of filing this report, the Member of Parliament for Ayensuano, Ayeh Paye, had stormed the community with Police to stop the activities of the sand winners ordering them to produce legitimate and relevant documents which permit them to win sand in the area.
They have also been requested to bring officials for proper valuation of crops destroyed in the area for corresponding compensation.