November 30, 2011

A deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Aquinas Quansah, has warned against the act of sand winning along the Elmina Beach by residents and other foreigners in search of gold deposits.

According to him, the indiscriminate winning of sand at the beach if not check could have an adverse effect on the lives of residents as the sea would easily over flow its banks when there is high tidal waves.

Hundreds of gold seekers since Monday have thronged the shores of Elmina, scavenging for gold which was said to have been washed ashore the beach.

Men, women, school children, school drop-outs, fishermen and entire family units have arrived at the Elmina beach digging pit after pit in search for gold, despite a directive by the Minerals Commission asking the scavengers to desist from their illegal act.

Contributing to a panel discussion on the issue on Ghana’s Breakfast TV show, on Wednesday Nov 30, the Hon. Minister who is also the Member of Parliament for Mfantseman West, expressed worry over the increasing destruction of the beach area with several pits dug in search for gold, an act that is eventually going to destroy the environment.

He noted that digging of the sand is going to destroy the beauty of the beach which has served as a tourist attraction that has generated a lot of revenue to the state.

He said, there is the need for government to intervene and stop the ongoing practice as the hard earned tax payers monies cannot be spent to construct a new sea defense wall for the people when the sand at the beached is continually mined.

Hon. Aquinas called on all the stakeholders including the Geological Service and the Minerals Commission to verify if indeed the substance is real gold, after which a proper programme must be drawn to ensure its safe mining.

Kwadwo Anim/