Sierra Leone, beach sand mining. Photo source: © Tommy Trenchard / IRIN
It all started after the civil war in our country when most of the houses were burned, leaving people homeless. When people were finally ready to rebuild their homes, contracts were given to Chinese and Senegalese construction companies which led to a huge demand for sand. Now, sand mines have become a place where otherwise unemployed young people can find work.
It began slowly on the beaches close to Freetown, Hamilton and Lakka with companies in need of sand to make asphalt for road building or concrete for buildings generating a new image of success and development in Freetown.
But then suddenly, in February of last year (2012), this ‘free sand for all’ bonanza exploded…
A Youtube Video, Uploaded Feb. 25, 2013 by Eimerspeter
“As I write this I can hear the lorries bounding down the path towards the beach next door. John Obey’s beach has been a source of sand for the growing construction industry for almost 2 years now…”
Sand-Mining Threatens Homes And Livelihoods In Sierra Leone, IRIN News
Round-the-clock sand-mining on beaches within a few kilometres of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown is having a devastating effect on the coastline, destroying property, and damaging the area’s hopes of a tourism revival.
Destroying Paradise To Make Concrete Blocks: Sand Mining In Sierra Leone
A new threat has emerged that risks destroying Sierra Leone’s eco-tourism untapped opportunities for sustainable development: Sand Mining. The free-sand-for-all bonanza just exploded. Without permits, hundreds of trucks attack the beaches on a daily basis, hiring local boys as daily laborers to destroy their own communities…
BE THE CHANGE:
PETITION: Stop Sand Mining and Protect the Beautiful Beaches of Sierra Leone
“Sierra Leone has one of the most beautiful costal landscapes in the world with stunning rainforest rolling down to amazing white sand beaches boasting rare wildlife including nesting sea turtles and long snout crocodiles. The beaches are rapidly being removed for construction all over the peninsula – up to 100 trucks a day loading sand up for sale in Freetown. We need to protect the beaches and the natural life they support for future generations and the potential employment that can be created for the nation via tourism.”—Eimer Peters / Change.org
Sierra Leone, beach sand mining. “Unlawful and unsustainable sand mining is destroying one of Sierra Leone’s prize assets: her beaches.” Captions and Photo source: Change.Org