Communities are pitted against sand harvesters, powerful cartels and one another as demand for sand in Kenya grows.
Evidence submitted by the complainants showed beyond a reasonable doubt that sections of the reef had already suffered significant damage and that the sandy beaches had eroded to bare rock at sites where the sand sucking monster ships had, often under the cover of darkness, illegally extracted sand.
Sand could soon be sucked out of the Indian Ocean, in a 0.4 –1km strip off the Kenyan coastline. The extraction will take place from Likoni through Waa to Tiwi Area in Mombasa county – close to some of Kenya’s most prized beaches and the Diani-Chale National Marine Reserve.
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.
Tourism stakeholders in Kenya and local residents of Diani Beach south of Mombasa are up in arms over plans to extract some 5 million tons of sand from award-winning Diani tourist beach.
Every day, 180 trucks chug their way to the banks of a river near Lake Victoria and leave laden with sand. Their cargo fuels Kenya’s construction boom and the local labour market, but the extraction could spell disaster for the village of Nyadorera.
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.
More and more Ugandan children drop out of school, lured into sand mining on the banks of River Nile in Busaana Sub-county, and joining what seems a lucrative venture to earn a living.
The youth at Bakaano, a suburb of Cape Coast, have taken to illegal mining due to the unavailability of jobs.