Tourism revival threatened by massive sand-mining © Tommy Trenchard/IRIN

Tourism revival threatened by massive sand-mining
© Tommy Trenchard/IRIN

The last few months we’ve seen an escalation in the number of trucks and people digging sand on our neighboring beach in Sierra Leone.

Last week the Government decided that it would endorse this activity but limited to only day-light hours 6 days a week!

Short-term jobs for the youth Vs long-term lost $ from tourism and coastal resources including fisheries, water, wood and development should be an easy decision to make. It doesn’t seem to be, however, as the pressure and political promise for job creation is huge.

Our strategy, along with local partners, to stop this absurdly ironic activity of destroying something so valuable too so many – is:

1. To present the case to stop-sand mining to as many community, political and business stakeholders as possible.

2. To find a local partner that can do a coastal environmental and economic assessment to show how many $  are being lost; explore other job opportunities for the youth; and to help find other areas that can provide a substitute to salty beach sand to build roads with.

3. To raise awareness locally and internationally of the issue > please Sign the petition which we will deliver to the President and hassle your embassy in SL.

4. To keep thinking of creative solutions. To not give up.

Already there is a great set of info, images and stories around what’s going on:

  • Tommy Trenchard sums up the challenge well and his amazing images on the BBC.
  • Eimer Peters, Tribewanted’s Community Development Officer at John Obey, explains the economics of sand-mining and life at the beach.

Follow progress of the campaign on facebook.

Let me know if you think you can help.

Tenki O!

Ben

Construction brings with it increasing demand for sand, an essential building material, and much of this sand is coming from the country's beautiful beaches. Tommy Trenchard/BBC

Construction brings with it increasing demand for sand, an essential building material, and much of this sand is coming from the country’s beautiful beaches. Tommy Trenchard/BBC

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