Over 50 peasant farmers in Kyekyewere, a farming community located between Suhum and Nsawam in the Ayensuano District of the Eastern Region, are currently distressed due to the forceful takeover and destruction of their farmlands by illegal sand miners.
The farmers had cultivated 50 acres of a total 100-acre land owned by Blue Skies Company Limited, with crops such as cassava, plantain, cabbage, and palm.
However, they were left in shock when supposed illegal sand miners, protected by armed land guards, stormed the farm, destroying the 50-acre plantation.
Some farmers who confronted the armed men were allegedly given a non-negotiable cash compensation of GH¢2,000 for the destruction of their crops.
“They started coming here a week ago. When we asked them who authorized them, they said a chief did so. They destroyed our cassava and plantain farm and started winning the sand. They also said they would pay us for the destruction, but they only gave us GH¢2000,” a farmer told journalists.
Another said, “I asked them to pay GH¢1000 for each of my 10 furrows, but by the time I got back from town, they had destroyed my palm nuts and cassava. So I was angered by their acts, but the police calmed me down because they said they would pay me. But they only gave me GH¢2000 instead of GH¢7000.”
Blue Skies Company Limited, the landowners, is calling on the Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akufo Dampare, to immediately investigate and arrest the illegal sand miners and their land guards.
They argue that such acts deter investor confidence.