We reported in yesterday's edition of our paper of the burning to "ashes" of 14 tipper trucks and excavators by a military detachment on operational duties at Afayili, near Dalun in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region.
The operators of these machines were said to have unlawfully engaged in sand winning at the Dalun River, which serves as a main source of raw water for treatment by the Ghana Water Company (GWCL) Limited, for distribution to major parts of the metropolis.
Indeed, the Dalun River is an important intake point for the GWCL for treatment of water to deliver to the people in its catchment area. Therefore, every effort must be made to protect the Dalun River and other water bodies across the country to guarantee our future and survival. Much so, when climate change is posing a threat to our livelihoods!
As part of efforts to protect the river, the Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC), resolved to ward off threats from sand winners and others whose activities were polluting the critical resource.
The REGSEC, indeed, issued an ultimatum for the operators to halt their activities.
The Ghanaian Times believes that had the ultimatum been communicated to the sand winners, and in the spirit of protecting the only source of water for the survival of the people; reasoning had prevailed.
That is why I find it difficult to understand why the sand winners failed to relocate the machines which we are told the military detachment applied force by setting ablaze the 14 tipper trucks and the excavator.
We are concerned about this line of action; believing that the seizure of machines and the imposing of fines on the recalcitrant sand winners could have been a much better alternative than the mass destruction.
We are saying this based on the fact that the area is volatile and there are underlining triggers of conflict and violence, which means that we must tread cautiously to keep the peace and stability of the area, for people to go about their duties peacefully.
To ensure peace, security and stability of the area, we hold the view that the security agency must act with circumspection. We urge the REGSEC to expand its community engagement and to assure them that the security agencies are out to protect them and their livelihoods.
We commend the initiative of the REGSEC in retooling the security agencies in the region to fight crime and maintain a peaceful environment, through its "Operation Calm Nerves" launched recently.
The initiative has seen a beef up of security personnel on patrols in the metropolis and other parts of the region, given the people a renewed sense of security.
We should, therefore, not let the people, whose interests the security agencies are there to protect, become an instruments of mass destruction. Our humble submission!