How illegal sand mining in Sierra Leone is destroying the local beaches

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…

In pictures: Sand mining in Sierra Leone

Once synonymous with a brutal civil war, Sierra Leone was forecast to be one of the world’s fastest growing countries in 2012. On the back of the rapid economic growth, a construction boom, with new roads and buildings springing up in and around the major towns… But the construction brings with it increasing demand for sand, coming from the country’s beautiful beaches…

China’s search for sand is destroying Mozambique’s pristine beaches

The community of Nagonha in northern Mozambique sits on a tall dune with lush greenery on the one side, and a turquoise Indian ocean on the other. It should have been the kind of unspoiled landscape that Mozambique’s growing tourism industry is beginning to take advantage of. Instead, a Chinese mining company has irrevocably tarnished the scenery, and people’s lives.

Sierra Leone: Beaches under attack from sand miners

Twenty-four hours a day, seven-days-a-week, truckloads of sand are being hauled from the beach into Freetown to satisfy the needs of construction companies and contractors. Hundreds of tonnes of sand from the beaches is mined and sold to builders as construction material. The activity is technically illegal but laws, as is often the case, are not being implemented or enforced.