Source: Ivy Setordjie and John Seshie Bixsen
Sand-winning companies have commenced a one-week land reclamation exercise at Kpoglu in the Ketu South Municipality.
The companies namely; H2KA Limited, Volta Marbles and Rocks Quarry Limited, and Rich Arrow Limited have been winning sand in the Ketu South Municipality legally for some time now.
Their exercise will seek to reclaim over 60 acres of land which had been depleted by their activities over the years.
The above-mentioned companies and other companies had extracted sand from the area to meet the growing demand for construction materials, leaving behind a scarred landscape.
According to the CEO of H2KA Limited, Hukporti Kpelly Kofi Anani, the land reclamation exercise is to pave way for much needed development ventures like vegetable farming among others.
He stated that land reclamation has always been part of their agenda as a means of preserving the integrity of the land for the families that leased said lands to them.
Mr. Anani said there is a need for all companies involved in the legal business of sand winning to make sure that all lands are reclaimed properly for other activities, especially for agricultural purposes.
According to him, to ensure sustainability and prevent the degradation of the environment such reclamation exercises are needed.
“I know we need to make sure that our environment is not destroyed by activities of sand winning and I have been reclaiming lands together with other contractors and we will always continue to make sure that all lands used for the sand winning are reclaimed and on time,” he said.
Mr. Anani said currently his company and other legal sand winners have halted sand extraction in the most ecologically sensitive areas particularly shorelines where erosion has become a major problem.
He added that to ensure the well-being of the shoreline, beach grasses and coconuts have been grown across the beaches and there are plans to have research programs funded to monitor and protect the local ecosystem.
Joshua Agbo-McSamuel, a contractor with Volta Marbles and Rocks Quarry Limited was excited about the exercise and hoped that it gives relief to the people affected.
He said the land reclamation exercise formed part of their company social responsibility and was geared at ensuring that winned land can be restored to provide other uses for the community.
As part of an environmental sustainability drive being undertaken by his company, they intend on diversifying their business by investing in sustainable practices, and building state-of-the-art facilities to recycle construction waste and reuse materials.
“This does not only reduce their environmental footprint but also creates new job opportunities for the townspeople,” he said.
Mr. Agbo-McSamuel said his company has plans to expand their restoration projects beyond the shoreline to depleted farmlands, employing innovative techniques to restore soil fertility and promote sustainable agriculture.
Some of the locals and landowners were excited about the exercise and prayed that things go as planned to have a more beautiful environment even after winning of sand and other activities.
Others hoped for a dam to have a huge fish farm which will bring job opportunities to the residents, especially the youth.
The Ketu South Assembly has in the meantime stopped all sand winning activities until further notice. However, the assembly makes sure that reclamation exercises takes place every three months.