Byo loses $10 000 per month fighting sand poachers

BULAWAYO City Council is using over $10 000 per month in fighting sand poaching in parts of the city where the illegal activities are rampant.

BY SILAS NKALA

According to latest council minutes, the acting director of housing and community services said it should be noted that council was losing a lot of money in the process.

The minutes state that the department’s view was that the benefits of the reduction of sand poaching in the city far outweigh the costs of fighting it.

“In addition, the orderly and legal sand extraction sites in the city were getting popular day by day. As a result, it was expected that the venture will grow fast given that construction in the city was always on going.

“It was expected that with the recruitment of more rangers, sand poaching would be reduced further, thus promoting the use of the sand pit by the public,” the minutes read.

It was also indicated that council recently sought to approve the establishment of a pit sand sale at Hyde Park Estate. A proposal for the approval of the project was also tabled, including the establishment of a working sub-committee.

“That the city valuer came up with a market based cost for the sale of pit sand. Council on November 2, 2016 had further resolved, that the sites be fenced and be managed as per council policies in order to meet Environmental Agency requirements, that audit section oversees the management systems put in place and that the recommended cost for pit sand extract be $6 per cubic metre, two pit sand sites were identified and established and were fully operational as at August 15, 2016,” the minutes read.

Security was also put in place to guard the sand sites.