Unified Technology Agricultural Program AFRICA (UTAPAFRICA) has expressed concerns about the rising degradation of farmlands in the Arigu community. Unified Technology and Agricultural Program Africa aim to foster breakthroughs in traditional areas like farming and afforestation. This would help improve water storage improve the environment along the White Volta River. We research and scale holder agribusiness and our continued educational opportunities for young people in communities.

Sand winners at Arigu are now carrying out their nefarious activities in the community without any repurcussion. This is seriously negating efforts by UTAPAFRICA to address the problem of persistent deforestation invasion of rural and pristine areas. The Director of Environmental Protection and Agricultural UTAPAFRICA, Mr. George A. Kanzoni, and Mr. Sulemana Ayariga, Director of Audit and Monitoring UTAPAFRICA, expressed concern over the situation when they paid a courtesy call to the Chief of Arigu in West Mamprusi Municipality in Northeast of Ghana; it was their six (6) days tour in West Mamprusi Municipal to select a location for community dam and to secure land for trees planting. Upon their feasibility studies, a portion of the earmarked was used for sand winning. 

Director of Environmental Protection and Agricultural, Mr. Goerge Kanzoni, In a meeting with the Chief and his Elders, said the trend had opened the area to severe environmental invasions with subsequent humanitarian crises on epic proportions in the Village. Mr. George Kanzoni called for concerted efforts to deal with the menace before the sand-winning claimed more Arigu land.  The sand winners, who operated heavy-duty trucks and other equipment had damaged a vast portion of the land at Arigu in the past few months.

The Audit and Monitoring Director, Mr. Sulemana Ayariga, warned the Community Authority to take a firm stance to deal swiftly with the people behind the illegal sand winning business, who he said was driven by their gluttony for money to deprive people of their land. It also emerged during their discussion with the Youth of Arigu that the rate at which the community members cut trees, especially shea trees, for charcoal was also depleting the forest in the village with impunity.

Members of the ‘Youth Group’ are said to convey their worries to the NGO and Municipal for necessary action before things get out of hand. Mr. George Kanzoni observed that Arigu, with its resources and natural settings was ideal for eco-tourism and the tapping of that potential depended largely on protecting the environment. For this reason, UTAPAFRICA, in partnership with the Youth group, set up a task force to fight the activities of those degrading the environment.

According to Mr. George Kanzoni, a report from them after their fourth day in the matter took legal action with the consultation of the Municipal Chief Executive and Environmental Protection Agency in the Municipal to halt sand winners in the Village. Mr. Sulemana Ayariga said that UTAPAFRICA would work hard with the EPA to deal with the sand winning and people cutting trees in the Arigu.

The Director of Environmental Protection and Agricultural, Mr. George A. Kanzoni, said the NGO would do its duty to protect the environment to ensure that perpetrators of these environmental crimes face the full rigors of the law.  Mr. George A. Kanzoni and Sulemana Ayariga’s tour also took them to some natural lakes that UTAPAFRICA seeks to expand for irrigation purposes and other agricultural uses. They also visited the Arigu Rock Quarry and Mawums Quarry to educate them on environmental issues at Arigu.

Arigu community members confronting the illegal sand-winning operation.
An overview of the damage done so far.
A quick look of the devastation