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

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Beach and dune sand mining, South Africa.”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…” Captions and Photo courtesy of : “Sand Wars” Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker: © Denis Delestrac (©-2013).

Excerpts;

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…

Read Full Article; Quartz Africa (10-23-2018)

Sand mining decimates African beaches, DW (02-15-2017)

The Market For African Beach Sand: Who’s Buying, Selling And Mining It? AFK Insider (02-17-2017)

Company accused of willfully destroying Kenya’s best beach; ETN (03-03-2016)
The nightmare of sandless Diani beaches is looming large again after Chinese company, the China Roads and Bridge Corporation, decided to appeal a decision by the Kenyan environmental tribunal that no more dredging was permitted off Diani beach without a full environmental and social impact assessment study…

Sierra Leone: Beaches under attack from sand miners; Awoko (10-18-2018)
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…

An Assessment of the Impact of Sand Mining: Unguja, Zanzibar, Tanzania; (SIT Graduate Institute/SIT Study Abroad (05-06-2015)
In mainland Tanzania, in comparison to Zanzibar, sand mining is done mainly along the coast and in river beds. This does a great deal of damage because it destabilizes the river banks and may collapse any bridges along them. On the contrary, mining in Zanzibar is generally done on the coastal beaches or in the hinterland areas that are richer in available sand…

Sand mining: The Greatest Threat To The Coastline of Ghana; Graphic Online (04-24-2014)

The environmental loss of illegal sand mining in South Africa, ENCA (01-07-2016)
Research shows that KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape are home to more than 200 illegal sand mining operations. Umvoti River sand is as good as gold in the construction industry. Its stellar components have placed it among the best sand in South Africa for building purposes. But this comes at a great environmental loss…

“The Shore Break,” A Movie From Riley Grunenwald; Variety (05-02-2016)
A gorgeous stretch of the Wild Coast is the object of a standoff between corrupt pro-mining forces interested in mining the local beach sand for titanium, and a South African coastal community. The drama is structured around two diametrically opposed protagonists. A film review by Variety…

One Flew Over a Beach Sand Mining Pit, Senegal; (07-17-2013)
One flew over a coastline, North of Dakar, used as and ad hoc beach sand mining pit.
A synopsis from the video “Home,” November 1st 2007. Archived images from: l’Institut National de L’audiovisual…

Beach Sand Mining Defaced Algeria’s Eastern Coastal Region; la Nouvelle République (04-25-2014)
Illegal beach sand mining activities also plague the eastern Algerian coastal region. Despite a strict ban on sand mining, some powerful and yet unidentified people, are discreetly networking with the sand mafia to take over huge quantities of stolen sand close to the Algerian and Tunisian border…

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 Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

The Conservation Crisis No One Is Talking About, 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…

Concrete, or Beaches? World’s Sand Running Out As Global Construction Booms; The Ecologist (05-09-2017)
A crucial component of concrete, sand is vital to the global construction industry…

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…


Learn more about beach sand mining in Africa: Sand Mining Database, By Coastal Care

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care


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PETITION: Take Action To End Global Beach Sand Mining, Coastal Care

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Illegal beach sand mining, near Tangier, Morocco. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care