Sierra Leone, beach sand mining. Photo source: © Tommy Trenchard / IRIN
There´s a construction boom in Sierra Leone.
International hotel chains are beginning to contribute to the infrastructure of Freetown and other areas along the country´s white beaches, a commodity which the Government´s tourism board wishes to capitalise on.
For people desperate to earn a living, this all translates into break-neck, environmentally disastrous, 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operations to carry hundreds of tonnes of sand from the beaches and sell it to builders as construction material. Not much is being done to stop what is almost a military operation, which has led to impromptu roads being hacked through rainforest as that trucks can transport the sand to building sites…
Many jobless youths have reverted to sand mining for their livelihoods…
Jobless Youths revert to sand mining at John Obey Beach, MySierraLeoneOnline
Many jobless youths within the Peninsular Area have reverted to sand mining for their livelihoods.
Sand-mining threatens homes and livelihoods in Sierra Leone, IRIN (Uploaded 02-27-2013)
According to the EPA, sand-mining is currently supposed to be banned on all beaches apart from John Obey. But the ban is flouted openly and on a massive scale. Even if a local ban is enforced, the mining simply goes ahead after dark. “The police work 9am-5pm, so most of the mining now happens at night…”
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…”
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