EPA gives sand miners up to June 13 to acquire environment permits
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Upper West Region has given sand miners up to June 13, 2021, to start the acquisition of sand-wining operational permits to continue works in the region.
Speaking in an interview with Info Radio, Emmanuel Lignule, the Acting Regional Director of the agency, said the EPA together with the landowners would subject the received applications from the sand miners to thorough scrutiny before issuing the environmental permits.
He added the permit would specify all environmental protection regulations that sand miners must adhere to.
Mr Lingule stated that EPA is mandated to regulate environmental protection activities and has advised that sand mining should not be done within environmentally sensitive areas including areas declared by law as sacred, forest reserve, cultural or historical sites.
He also admonished that any activity that has or is likely to have a negative effect on public health requires environmental permit before work commences and if work had commenced, the operators must have to seek permit from the EPA.
He lamented that sand mining in the region is not a well-organized activity and that has made it difficult to regularize and enforce sand mining regulations.
He however noted that the EPA has recently organized an awareness creation meeting involving sand miners, land owners, Assembly members and District assemblies where sand wining is pronounced to raise awareness on the adverse effects of the activity and the way forward.
The Acting Regional Director was speaking in response to some misunderstanding arising from sand mining between Kperisi and Guli, both communities in the Wa municipality.