Some quarry operators are lamenting about the encroachment of their sites.
They believe the practice if not stopped will affect their businesses and lead to downsizing of operations that will consequently lead to job losses.
According to them, building near quarry sites is dangerous because they [buildings] develop cracks due to the blasting. Aside the cracks, dust from the quarrying could be very harmful.
CEO of E&H, George Sam said stone quarry operators operate in the buffer zone which has been clearly demarcated by the laws of the land. A buffer zone is a piece of land that separates one property from another, like industrial and commercial districts or residential and agricultural.
In Ghana, buffer zone is a piece of land about 500 metres away from human activities.
“Before the quarrying activities begin or even during the operations you realize that most people have encroached the 500 meters buffer zone, which creates a lot of inconveniences for us. Talk of safety, it is not safe for the inhabitants, it is also not safe for the company,” Mr. Sam said.
The CEO of Mansco Stone Quarry Limited also indicated that people’s entitlement to the lands push them to sell, leading to encroachment, which is dangerous.
“Family dispute is the main reason everybody wants money, so everybody is looking for easy money and they think that if they own the land they could sell it, but they don’t realize the implications that it can have on our business.”
“The business itself has a very difficult market at the moment. We have a lot of problems with pricing because we are a dollar related industry and the dollar is currently depreciating against the cedi,” he pointed out.
He further explained that if the issue of encroachment is not addressed anytime soon, they will have no option to lay off staff.
“We employ 26 people here, but if the encroachers take over the lands, we will shut down and lay all these people off,” he stated.