The return of the sand collector. Captions and Photo source: ©© Jeremy Weate
Sand Mining: Do We Want a Repeat of Buchanan Throughout Coastal Liberia?
“The city of Buchanan, Liberia, is gradually being swept away by sea erosion; and if nothing is done about it, Buchanan will one day be nothing but a memory. The government, through its Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (LM&E), should do a comprehensive study of that situation and make recommendations as to how the city can be saved before it is too late.
But there is an even more serious matter that should claim the urgent attention of the LM&E. It is the issue of sand mining in Monrovia and its environs.
In an article entitled “The Effects of Sand Mining on the Liberian Coast,” Liberian Observer environmental columnist, warned that the government might be “compelled to spend millions of dollars to combat sea erosion if care is not taken.” As much as sand is needed to meet human needs, it requires “efficient and effective resource management to ensure sustainable development.”
The article called for the collective effort of policy makers, sand contractors, engineers, traditional rulers and local residents to find a preventive solution to what the author called “the impending environmental danger.”
All stakeholders, said the author, have to ensure that sand mining “is conducted in a responsible manner.” The reason: depletion of sand in the streambed and along coastal areas causes the deepening of rivers and estuaries (wide tidal mouths of rivers).
Uncontrollable sand mining could also lead to salt water intrusion inland. More over, and perhaps even more dangerous, uncontrolled sand mining could affect the sea level rise…”