“Keeping sand in the rivers is the best adaptation to climate change. If a river delta receives enough sediment, it builds itself above sea level in a natural reaction”, the WWF’s Marc Goichot told the Thomson Routers Foundation, (weforum.org, June 30, 2022).
“In 2018, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warned that sand mining of river deltas is increasing the risk of climate-related disasters, because there’s not enough sediment to protect against flooding”, (weforum.org, June 30, 2022).
Pay a visit to Moree in the Abura Asebu Kwamankese District of the Central Region and witness the extensive sand mining activities in that coastal enclave.
A pan of sand is sold for three to four Ghana cedis.
Due to the sand mining activities, the sand serving as a barrier for the sea and land has almost disappeared. A situation that gives cause for worry.
You can call it galamsey at the beaches!
Could the debilitating effect of such activities result in the destruction of houses and properties in that community by ocean waves?
While some people have alluded to “the fact that the persistent sand mining is the cause of the destruction of properties by the sea, a number of community members believe the recent destruction in Moree by the ocean is as a result of the landing site constructed by the government or a natural cause”.
Indeed the situation gives rise for proper interrogation by authorities and experts in particular.
It raises concern over periodic ocean or tidal waves that have destroyed properties and in some cases caused death in some areas.
Any form of illegal mining or ‘galamsey’ impacts the environment negatively and illegal mining of sand at the beaches is no exception.
This is what goes on in a number of fishing communities in the Central Region of Ghana.
Who are the culprits? Your guess is as good as mine.
In most parts of the fishing communities, one can notice debris of buildings along the beachfront due to what they term tidal wave destruction.
Most of the sand at the beaches have been washed away and the rest mined.
There’s just a thin line between the houses and and sea, which means the least ocean wave could enter people’s homes.
Come to think of it? What has the illegal mining of gold caused the country?
In Ghana, you can talk of illegal mining of gold, kaolin and sand (at least that is the available facts) that are destroying the environment in diverse ways.
“Sand mining from rivers and marine ecosystems, leads to significant environmental impacts, including coastal and river erosion, shrinking deltas, land-use changes, air pollution, salinization of coastal aquifers and groundwater reserves, threats to freshwater and marine fisheries and biodiversity,” says the UNEP (weforum.org, June 30, 2022).
“In 2020, the last coastal sand mine in the US closed in Monterey Bay, following protests from environmentalists over the erosion of California’s beaches”, (weforum.org, June 30, 2022).
A visit by Journalists for Responsible Fisheries and Environment (JFRE) to Moree, shortly after a training workshop by ‘Hen Mpoano’ (Our Coast), a non-governmental organisation, saw many community members engaged in sand mining activities.
When inquired, the perpetrators said that was their livelihood.
When they saw the team earlier, some of them took to their heels but hey, they sure came back to continue their job when the team left.
Some fishermen were even raining insults on the team for capturing them and this is the reality on the ground.
In an interview with Gnewsprime.com, the Chief fisherman of Moree Alata, Nana Kobina Nkrumah called for military intervention to curtail the menace.
He acknowledged that continuous sand mining in the area had contributed to ocean wave destruction in that coastal enclave.
A resident, Adwoa Koma, butressed the assertion that sand winning in the area has caused a lot of harm than good.
“I must say this is uncalled for, it’s very unfortunate. Just few days ago, we experienced the destructive nature of the tidal wave at Moree, only to have an inspection here to find the spate of sand winning in this devastating state. I’ll do a formal report to the Regional Minister and the necessary agencies to take a swift action”, the Central Regional Director of the Fisheries Commission, Kwame Damoah underscored.
“Look at the number of people that are taking out sand from the sea. The same people will come out to complain that the sea is sweeping their land and houses away”, he emphasized.
JFRE has thus called for immediate action against illegal activities hampering the development of the fishing industry including sand mining along the beachfront.