Kumbungu: National Security Clamps Down On Sand Mining With Airplane
The National Security has begun on air operation to flush out adamant illegal miners scooping sand around the White Volta River at Nawuni, a village in the Kumbungu district, 40km southwest of Tamale the Northern Regional capital.

Date Created : 2/19/2018 12:56:10 AM : Story Author : Starrfmonline

This comes after the Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Dr. Clifford Braimah warned to engage national security personnel to combat the operation after several fruitless effort by the Regional Security Council due to allege interference by traditional rulers.

The illegal miners are harvesting at least one thousand trucks of sand daily near the river to supply to the construction market, threatening installations of the GWCL sited in the river which serves as source of fresh water for residents of five districts including the Tamale Metropolis.

The operation started last Wednesday and continued throughout the week with an airplane which flew incredibly low over two villages around the river – Dalun and Nawuni, sending fears among the villagers.

A senior officer at the Regional Department of the National Security confirmed the operation to Starr News in a telephone interview.

He said though most of the illegal miners have fled the area, the operation would continue to completely drive them out and halt their activities around the river, which is also draining the coffers of the GWCL who spend millions of cedis monthly to treat polluted water before distribution.

A villager who witnessed the operation on Thursday said the airplane was used to chase the frightened, fleeing miners.

“When it was passing through Dalun you could see that the plane was down to the earth; it was a white plane. It was going around the sand winning site. They run and went and hid behind trees around the river side. They have packed almost all of their machines. Now only two are there and they have returned about four,” the resident reported.

Many years of unregulated sand mining operations in the White Volta referred by locals as “Nawuni River” have devoured the sand deposits in the river, ruined the ecosystem, caused deep environmental damages, and exposed the communities to food insecurity.

Sand harvesting is a booming venture in the region during dry seasons. In 2016, the chief of Dalun Naa Mahama Amadu, allegedly granted permission to business individuals to harvest sand in return for royalties.

On 8th December last year when the operation became excessively pervasive, the Regional Security Council revealed intent to clampdown on the operators but the chief angrily refused to support the move accusing chairman of the council, Salifu Saeed of obstructing his authority as traditional ruler.

The position held by the chief hampered fight against the illegal activity until management of the GWCL after an impact assessment exercise decided to use the national security to tackle the menace.