Ashanti Region: REGSEC threatens action against encroachers on quarry sites

The warning comes after members of the council also discovered that these encroachers had also taken over buffer zones close to a military installation

The Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has warned it would be forced to take action against homeowners who build very close to quarry sites, in a bid to prevent disasters and deaths.

The warning comes after members of the council also discovered that these encroachers had also taken over buffer zones close to a military installation.

The large granite stone which sits across towns in the area is a resource that is high in demand by estate developers. It is also the source of revenue for communities in the district. District chief executive, Christian Adu Poku, said it is becoming increasingly difficult to mine the resource due to encroachment.

“Over the years the Assembly has tried as much as it can to prevent people from encroaching on the buffer zones”, Adu-Poku said.

“But it has not been easy some of them build in the night and especially when the Assembly is not in session. By the time you come a building that is at the foundation level has reached lentil and when it reaches such a height it becomes difficult to pull them down.”

The visit by REGSEC on Wednesday (10 April) provided an opportunity to evaluate the operations of quarry operators within the Afigya Kwabre enclave, following a recent protest by inhabitants in the area.

Chairman of the Council and Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has however emphasised the critical need to halt ongoing encroachment at buffer zones around quarry sites, citing potential health and security risks associated with the development.

“There should be a buffer of 500 meters, and I can tell you that some are even below a distance of 20 meters, and this is very dangerous…And that is why anytime there is a blast people always complain that there are cracks in their buildings and their electrical gadgets have been damaged and this is because of encroachment.”

“We are making a fervent appeal to the chiefs that they should not sell lands within the buffer zones of the various quarry companies. It is a looming disaster, we are sitting on a time bomb, and we should not allow this to continue”, Osei-Mensah said.

Managers of these companies expressed optimism that REGSEC’s intervention would lead to positive outcomes.

Oswald Kofi Boateng from Brosa Mineral Resource Limited, who spoke on behalf of the quarry operators acknowledged the importance of regulatory oversight to address community concerns and ensure responsible quarrying activities.

Reporting By Jonathan Ofori, Ashanti Region

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