Fear Grips Residents In Asuogyaman Over Sale Of Poisonous Sand

Concerned residents of Atimpoku, a fishing community in Asuogyaman District of the Eastern region, have raised alarm over what they have described as “clandestine moves” by contractors of Bilfinger Construction Company which rehabilitated the Adomi Bridge.

According to the residents, workers of the company have been blasting sand believed to be chemically contaminated to unsuspecting residents in Atimpoku and its adjoining communities.

They said following the rehabilitation of the Adomi Bridge contractors of Bilfinger Construction Company have resorted to selling the “poisonous” blasted sand which is not good for human health to unsuspecting people at a cost of GHC100 per truck.

The practice, which poses health danger to prospective buyers in Atimpoku, the residents confirmed to Today happen at the blind side of officials of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Asuogyaman District Assembly.

The residents were shocked that the matter had not come to the attention of the authorities of Asuogyaman District Assembly, EPA and GHS even though the selling of the blasted poisonous sand to buyers was ongoing.

Speaking in an interview with Today on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 deputy Director in-charge of Eastern Regional Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Godwin Sapoba, confirmed that the blasted sand by Bilfinger Construction Company was not good for use by human beings.

According to Mr. Sapoba, their checks revealed that the blasted sand, due to the particles mixed with it, posed health dangers to human beings, reaffirming that the sand cannot be exposed in open places.

He pointed out that after the EPA was informed about the selling of the poisonous blasted sand by the contractors, they immediately wrote to all the stakeholders in the Eastern region for which investigations are ongoing to retrieve all the sand from those who bought the sand.

“When we visited the site together with representatives of Bilfinger Construction Company we realised that the contaminated sand which was deposited at the site for the safety reasons had been collected.
“But we cannot tell the individual persons who the contractors sold the sand to,” Mr. Sapoba told Today.

Mincing no words, the EPA Eastern regional deputy cautioned residents in the area to stop the habit of buying the poisonous blasted sand from unscrupulous contractors, since, according to him, it is chemically contaminated which is dangerous to human health.

When contacted by Today, the Site Manager of Bilfinger Construction Company, Mr. Mohammed Ahmed, confirmed that the sand was not good for public use.

According to one of the buyers of the sand, Mr. Kofi Ofuso, the said sand was heaped in various construction sites and homes in many prospective buyers in the area.