He who controls the sand: the mining ‘mafias’ killing each other to build cities
Results of an intensively sand mined beach and shoreline, Morocco, Northern Africa. Blond and beautiful expanses of beach sand have disappeared, revealing now a bare landscape. Captions and Photograph: SAF — Coastal Care (©-2009).
As of 2011-2012, when investigative filmmaker Denis Delestrac and team, were first collecting and unveiling unpublished sand mining datas and information from the professionals involved, the Sand business was estimated to be a $70 billion industry, worldwide…!
“Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water. The construction-building industry is by far the largest consumer of this finite resource. The traditional building of one average-sized house requires 200 tons of sand; a hospital requires 3,000 tons of sand; each kilometer of highway built requires 30,000 tons of sand… A nuclear plant, a staggering 12 million tons of sand…” —Denis Delestrac (©-2013), “Sand Wars” Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker.
In Kenya, as in most of the developing world, cities are growing at a frenzied pace. Creating buildings to house all the people and the roads to knit them together requires prodigious quantities of sand.
As the price of sand goes up, the ‘mafias’ get more involved. Every year criminal gangs across the world dig up countless tonnes of sand to sell on the black market…
800,000m3 of Sand to be Removed Close to Some of Kenya’s Most Prized Beaches, Mail & Guardian Africa (04-09-2015)
Sand could soon be sucked out of the Indian Ocean, in a 0.4 –1km strip off the Kenyan coastline…
Sand Dredging Threatening Tourism at Top-Rated Kenya Beach, ETN News (02-23-2015)
Unless measures are taken to halt dredging along the south coast beaches once and for all, one of Kenya’s greatest tourism resources could be damaged beyond repair and turn from a crowd puller and award winner in the space of a few months into a marine desert landscape…
The Deadly Occupation Attracting Kenya’s Youth, IPS News (08-06-2014)
Sand is becoming a necessary component in fuelling the construction boom that is driving the rapid pace of urbanisation and rapid economic growth patterns in Kenya. Many of Kenya’s poor youth are turning to sand mining as a quick way of earning money, despite the deadly risks due to poor sand harvesting methods…
The Conservation Crisis No One Is Talking About, By John R. Platt, TakePart (09-21-2016)
Beaches around the world are disappearing. No, the cause isn’t sea-level rise, at least not this time. It’s a little-known but enormous industry called sand mining, which every year sucks up billions of tons of sand from beaches, ocean floors, and rivers to make everything from concrete to microchips to toothpaste…
Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report (GEA-March 2014)
Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.
In March 2014 The United Nations released its first Report about Sand Mining: “Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks.”
“Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013 in its french version: “Le Sable: enquête sur une disparition”, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.
Sand Thieves Are Eroding World’s Beaches For Castles Of Cash, by Martine Valo, Le Monde (09-2013)
The pillaging of sand is a growing practice in the world. This is because it represents 80% of the composition of concrete that it is the object of such greed…
Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)
Is sand an infinite resource? Can the existing supply satisfy a gigantic demand fueled by construction booms? What are the consequences of intensive beach sand mining for the environment and the neighboring populations…? This investigative documentary takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: the “Sand Wars” have begun…
BE THE CHANGE:
Illegal beach sand mining, near Tangier, Morocco. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care