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Protecting Ghana’s Coastline from Disappearing

Ghana has started building seawalls at key points along its shore to stop coastal erosion and protect beaches, communities and historic buildings. But fishermen say the walls make it hard to pull in their nets, while coastal resorts say the walls hurt their businesses. Ben Idun set up a resort in the coastal town of Elmina in 2009, imagining people would flock to its golden beach. However, he has spent much of his time trying to stop rapid coastal erosion, which he attributes to years of illegal sand mining in the area. When authorities finally stepped in the mining decreased, and to stop further erosion, a rocky sea defense wall was built on the shore in 2017. But this added more woes for the resort, as hotel guests can no longer access the water. Ghana has an average erosion rate of about two meters a year with some smaller sites seeing up to 17 meters of erosion in one year, says Donatus Angnuureng, from the University of Cape Coast’s Center for Coastal Management.