Executives of the association in a photograph with Alhaji Inusah Fuseini
The national executives of the Association of Sand and Stone workers and Tipper Users (NASWOTTU) have met the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Inusah Fuseini in Accra to discuss the acquisition of permits for sand winning.
The association, which boasts of over 11,000 members, presented its major problem concerning the acquisition of permits for sand winning to the minister.
This is because the Mining and Minerals Act of Ghana (Act 703) mandates only the minister to sign a licence (Mineral right) for sand winning.
According to the association, such condition makes the work of its members very difficult.
P.K Donkor, National Chairman, also appealed to the minister to decentralise the issuance of permits in the regional capitals to make the administrative process easier.
This, Mr. Donkor said, would increase the revenue of government.
The cumbersome administrative process of acquiring permits compels others to engage in illegal sand winning, he added.
The Vice National Chairman for the association, Frank Ashidam called on the ministry to ask the Minerals Commission to make available areas of sand and gravel winning so such places could be protected just like other mineral mining sites.
He said if government fails to do that, sand would be imported into Ghana in future.
Even though the country’s law recognises sand and stone as minerals these are yet to be protected by law.
The minister, who lauded the initiative by the association, stressed the need to earmark areas as resource areas and have a law that protects them.
He therefore pleaded with the association to put in place proper measures to ensure that lands were properly reclaimed after winning sand and stone.
He also advised the association to meet Dr. Joe Oteng Adjei, Minister of Environment to discuss the environmental impact assessment of sand winning.
He finally admonished the association to educate its members on the dangers of illegal sand winning and the threats to the environment.
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