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Causes and Effects of Coastal Sand Mining in Ghana

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Abstract

Sand mining is a type of open-cast mining that provides material for the construction sector in Ghana. The construction sector in the coastal areas of Ghana relies heavily on coastal sand and pebbles in the building of houses, bridges and roads. Its contribution to Ghana’s industrial output has increased from 17.4 per cent in 1986 to 20.8 per cent in 1993. However, the process of sand mining has accelerated coastal environmental degradation to an alarming rate in many areas. As a result the government has been compelled to spend millions of dollars to combat sea erosion. This paper examines the causes and effects of coastal sand mining in three communities in the Ahanta West District of Ghana. It argues that coastal sand needs to be exploited to satisfy human demands but this requires efficient and effective resource management to ensure sustainable development. It also calls for a concerted effort by policy makers, sand contractors, engineers, traditional rulers and local residents to find a solution to the coastal environmental crisis.

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... In economic terms, sandy beaches are amongst the most valuable natural assets, underpinning many coastal developments and related industries (Klein, Osleeb, and Viola 2004). Coastal zones have nurtured humanity through countless centuries serving as a source of food, salt, construction material for housing and employment to the people (Mensah 1997). Notwithstanding the many economic benefits gained from the coast, the area primarily serves as a natural protection and armour for coastal communities against storm surges and waves (Mensah 1997) with coastal dunes playing an important role in regulating coastal groundwater by serving as a barrier for landward saltwater intrusion (Carter 1991).One of the major challenges that confront coastal countries today is how to control coastal erosion, since at least about 70% of sandy beaches across the world have been found to be retreating (Bird 1985;Hanson and Lindh 1993;Cai et al. 2009). ...
... Coastal zones have nurtured humanity through countless centuries serving as a source of food, salt, construction material for housing and employment to the people (Mensah 1997). Notwithstanding the many economic benefits gained from the coast, the area primarily serves as a natural protection and armour for coastal communities against storm surges and waves (Mensah 1997) with coastal dunes playing an important role in regulating coastal groundwater by serving as a barrier for landward saltwater intrusion (Carter 1991).One of the major challenges that confront coastal countries today is how to control coastal erosion, since at least about 70% of sandy beaches across the world have been found to be retreating (Bird 1985;Hanson and Lindh 1993;Cai et al. 2009). This global challenge in dealing with the erosion problem may be due to the varied range of causes that encompass both natural-and human-related factors. ...
... In recent years, several studies which focused on Ghana's coastline have attributed the retreat of the coastline and the general deterioration in the quality of beaches to the widespread practice of beach sand mining (Biney et al. 1993;Mensah 1997;Boateng 2006b;Appeaning, Walkden, and Mills 2008;Appeaning 2009;Armah 2011;Oteng-Ababio, Owusu, and Appeaning Addo 2011;Boateng 2012). Some studies have also provided estimates regarding the rates of retreat of various stretches along Ghana's coastline. ...
Article
Mining of sand and stone from the coasts provides an inexpensive source of materials for the construction industry while providing income to contractors. However, these activities come at a cost to the coastal environment and pose a threat to the tourism industry along the Ghanaian coast. This paper identified the various types of coastal sand and stone mining activities, the level at which they are undertaken and covers the trends in coastal erosion along the coast of Cape Coast, Ghana. ArcGIS (ESRI, Redlands, CA, USA) and Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS; ESRI) tools were used to determine short-term (2005–2012) coastline changes using 2005 and 2012 coastlines data. This study estimates that tipper-truck-based beach sand mining activities alone account for the loss of about 285,376 m/year of sand from the littoral zone in the Cape Coast area. It was also established that the average erosion rate for the Cape Coast area within the seven year period is 0.85 m/year with two areas recording high erosion rates of 4.35 m/year and 4.25 m/year. The study concludes that sand mining is the main cause of erosion along the coastline of Cape Coast.
... The coastal areas of these seas have a considerable variety of natural and cultural values (Yalçi • ner, Gökdalay 2000). Coastal regions in particular are the site of economic and recreational activities, with the result that they are threatened by misuse, pollution, and unregulated urbanization caused by overpopulation (Mensah 1997;Morgan et al. 2000;Tzatzanis et al. 2003;I · rtem et al. 2005). The necessity to protect coastal seawater and coasts as sensitive ecosystems is frequently stated (Mensah 1997;I · rtem et al. 2005). ...
... Coastal regions in particular are the site of economic and recreational activities, with the result that they are threatened by misuse, pollution, and unregulated urbanization caused by overpopulation (Mensah 1997;Morgan et al. 2000;Tzatzanis et al. 2003;I · rtem et al. 2005). The necessity to protect coastal seawater and coasts as sensitive ecosystems is frequently stated (Mensah 1997;I · rtem et al. 2005). Beaches are important natural sites where both residents and beach users rest, entertain themselves, and relax (Tzatzanis et al. 2003;Tudor and Williams 2006). ...
... Obalna obmo~ja teh morij imajo zelo raznolike naravne in kulturne vrednote (Yalçi • ner in Gökdalay 2000). Na teh obalnih obmo~jih se izvajajo razli~ne ekonomske in rekreativne dejavnosti, posledica pa so mo`nosti zlorabe, onesna`enje in neurejena urbanizacija zaradi prenaseljenosti (Mensah 1997 Okro`je Samsun se pona{a s {irokimi in dolgimi pla`ami, ki obsegajo 213 km obale. Poleg geomor-folo{kih zna~ilnosti je razlog za nastanek teh pla` tudi u~inek reke Ki • zi • li • rmak, ki je najdalj{a tur{ka reka (1355 km), ter reke Yeşili • rmak (519 km) in desetine manj{ih potokov, ki se na obmo~ju te province izlivajo v^rno morje. ...
Article
During the past few decades, the Samsun coast has been subjected to various human impacts that have led to changes in the coastal zone of this the area. This paper is an attempt to understand and define how residents and beach users perceive coastal zone problems in Samsun province based on their perceptions. For this purpose, a questionnaire survey was conducted during the months of June and July in 2005 and 2006 on 500 residents and beach users at eight beaches along the 121-kilometer Samsun shore-line on the north side of Turkey. The questionnaire data was collected through a direct interview. Analysis of interview data reveals that the respondents perceive coastal seawater pollution (89%), beach pollution, the loss of beach plain (67%), and changes in land use (91%) as the main problems of the coastal zone. The main factors blamed for coastal seawater pollution are sewage (98%), industrial waste (74%), and waste oils discharged by ships (38%). It is clear from the results of the survey that residents and beach users are not sufficiently aware of the coastal zone problems. The most important recommendation for solving these problems is increasing environmental awareness. To this end, environmental education activ-ities are necessary for the conservation of coastal zone ecosystems.
... Hence, the rapid development of the construction industry has increased the demand for sand, especially for emerging developing countries. Sand mining has been widely observed in inland and coastal waters with profound effects on entire aquatic ecosystems (Newell et al., 1998;Wu et al., 2007;Mensah, 2010). It has been argued that sand mining should be considered as an aspect of global environmental change (Mayekar et al., 2006) in the view of its worldwide extent and the magnitude of its impacts (Bendixen et al., 2019). ...
... Sand mining in aquatic systems was first reported in developed countries, accompanied by serious coastal erosion, dramatic channel incision (Kondolf, 1994;Mayekar et al., 2006;Thornton et al., 2006), and profound effects on biotic communities (Boyd et al., 2005;Fraser et al., 2017). With its globalization, sand mining activities have increased in developing countries (Padmalal et al., 2008;Mensah, 2010), particularly in China, which is undergoing rapid industrialization (Lu et al., 2007;Li et al., 2014;Chen, 2017). Most alarmingly, indiscriminate sand mining is rampant in many inland water bodies of China (Bendixen et al., 2019), almost in all great lakes (e.g., Lake Poyang, Lake Dongting and Lake Hongze) and rivers (e.g., Yangtze River and Yellow River) (Lu et al., 2007;Leeuw et al., 2010;Duan et al., 2018). ...
Article
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Abstract:Sand mining is a human activity that is increasing in inland waters and has profound effects on entire aquatic ecosystems. However, current knowledge of the effects of sand mining on freshwater lake ecosystems remains limited, especially for biotic communities. Here, we investigated the responses of macroinvertebrates to indiscriminate sand mining in a large shallow lake of China. Our results indicated that sand mining significantly increased the content of suspended particulate matter, total nitrogen, total phosphorus and chlorophyll a in the water column both in the sand mining area and the area adjacent to the dredging activities. While there was significantly lower total nitrogen and the total phosphorus content of the sediment were observed in the sand mining area. In terms of benthic animals, there were reductions of the macroinvertebrate density and biomass of 89.80% and 99.54%, respectively, and there was a considerable decline of the majority of macroinvertebrate taxonomic taxa as well as biological traits observed in the sand mining area due to direct dredging-induced substrate deterioration and high turbidity water. Moreover, in the area adjacent to the dredging activities, dredging-induced high turbidity water also resulted in 28% and 79% decreases in macroinvertebrate density and biomass, respectively, with a significant decrease in the densities of Bivalvia and Polychaeta but an increase in the density of Crustacea. In terms of biological traits, species (e.g., Grandidierella sp. and Sphaerium lacustre) characterized by a small body size, short life cycle and dietary sources mainly from sediment were typically associated with the ecological condition of the indirect effects of the dredging activities. Taxa (e.g., Corbicula fluminea) with a larger body size and longer life cycle that are filter feeders should be favored by the ecological conditions of the reference sites. For biomonitoring of sand mining perturbations, a number of taxonomic and biological trait indicators were proposed in our study based on indicator value analysis, and the general applicability of trait-based indicators was highlighted. We also suggest that the biodiversity indices may be less suitable indicators of sand mining effects. Given the limited understanding of the responses of macroinvertebrates to sand mining in inland freshwaters, we believe that our results may provide important information for biomonitoring of sand mining activities and provide scientific management support to governments.
... On the coast of Ghana, human activities of some coastal dwellers, mainly aiming for economic gains such as sand mining for construction purposes, mining of alluvial gold, and encroachment on lagoons, have made the coast more susceptible to erosion (Anim et al. 2013;Mensah 1997). In view of the physical evidence of coastal erosion and flooding, the government of Ghana adopted a reactive measure to reduce the erosion impacts through building sea defence structures on Ghana's coast. ...
... Coastal erosion is one of the serious environmental problems facing the West African coast including Ghana (Hinrichsen 1990). Not only does the response of SLR under climate change contribute to coastal erosion in Ghana (Evadzi et al. 2017) but the increased physical infrastructure development on the coast relies heavily on coastal sand and pebbles, which have accelerated coastal environmental degradation in Ghana (Mensah 1997;Jonah et al. 2016). Appeaning Addo (2015) projected some communities in Dansoman to be inundated by 2065 due to SLR. ...
Article
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In response to climate change, coastal communities are expected to experience increasing coastal impacts of sea-level rise (SLR). Strategies formulated and implemented to curb these impacts can thus be more effective if scientific findings on the response to climate change and SLR impacts on coastal communities are taken into consideration and not based merely on the need for coastal protection due to physical coastal erosion. There is also the need to determine the level of awareness of sea-level rise and responses in coastal communities to improve adaptation planning. This study assesses the impact of future erosion on the coastal land cover of Ghana. This assessment estimates approximately 2.66 km², 2.77 km², and 3.24 km² of coastal settlements, 2.10 km², 2.20 km² and 2.58 km² of lagoons, 1.39 km², 1.46 km² and 1.71 km² of wetlands to be at risk of inundation by the year 2050 based on coastal erosion estimates for the 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5 Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) used in the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This study also assesses the level of awareness of respondents to SLR on the coast of Ghana and explores the availability and level of integration of scientific knowledge of SLR into coastal adaptation strategies in Ghana. Assessment of the awareness of SLR responses to the changing climate in Ghana is made through semi-structured interviews at national, municipal/district and coastal community scales. Although settlements may be inundated based on the coastal erosion estimates, coastal dwellers interviewed cherish their proximity to the sea and are determined to maintain their occupancy close to the sea as spatial location influences their source of livelihood (fishing). Respondents lack knowledge/understanding of SLR, as the majority of household interviewees attributed the rise or fall in sea level to God. Respondents from Ngiresia alleged that the ongoing coastal sea defence project in their community has led to increased malaria cases.
... Such SS can spread up to approximately 20 km away from the mining site, impacting on the neighboring ecosystem (Birklund and Wijsman, 2005;Jones et al., 2016;Won et al., 2017). Although many studies have been conducted to assess the environmental and ecological impacts of mining activities, information on the magnitude and severity of the potential risks of such activities is still limited and controversial, making it difficult to draw definitive conclusions (Mensah, 1997;Phua et al., 2002;Byrnes et al., 2004;Birklund and Wijsman, 2005). An abundance of research has described the adverse impacts of mining activities on the benthic macrofauna (Desprez, 2000;Newell et al., 2004) and on fish assemblages (Diaz et al., 2004;Son and Han, 2007;Bilkovic, 2011). ...
Article
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To estimate the impact of aggregate mining on a marine ecosystem, fish assemblages and phytoplankton communities were analyzed using environmental DNA metabarcoding. Metabarcoding analysis revealed 152 fish amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) (88 in September and 118 in February), which were assigned to 29 orders, 62 families, 104 genera, and 114 species (73 in September and 89 in February). Heatmap analysis showed that the fish assemblages in the mining area clearly differed from those in the surrounding area and that Pagrus major, Lateolabrax japonicus, Zeus faber, and Eopsetta grigorjewi were significantly more abundant there than in the surrounding area. In the phytoplankton community in September, the phyla Cyanobacteria and Haptophyta differed significantly between the mining area and its surroundings. By contrast, no such significant differences were identified in February, presumably due to the low temperature impeding phytoplankton growth. Taking these findings together, mining activities clearly affect fish and phytoplankton communities, but further long-term study is required to assess their impacts on marine ecosystems.
... For a developing country such as Ghana, environmental concerns are not always considered in the pursuit of economic and development aspirations. This can be seen in the widespread occurrence of livelihood practices such as artisanal mining of minerals and sand that continue to happen even though they cause massive environmental destruction [35][36][37][38][39]. It is nevertheless expected that the price cost to citizens shall be an important consideration in choosing between development pathway options, given the generally low levels of wages and salaries. ...
Article
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Background In Ghana, energy transition as a research theme is new. It is unclear whether energy transition has occurred or not, and if so, in what form. This study sought to find out whether this transition has occurred in Ghana’s electrical energy sector and how using indicators deduced from literature, such as change in energy source type, change in energy ownership and management, and transition to greener vehicular transportation. Methods Information on Ghana’s electrical energy transition was obtained from thematic content analysis of Ghana’s renewable energy policy documents, energy sector reports, newspaper articles and information on the websites of Ghana’s energy sector institutions such as the Volta River Authority, Ghana Grid Company Limited, Electricity Company of Ghana and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company. Results In this study, it was demonstrated that two structural changes have occurred in Ghana’s electrical energy sector: (1) Transition from an exclusively hydro energy to a hydro-thermal mix, with thermal energy constituting about 69% of the 2020 generation mix; and (2) Transition from an exclusively state supplied energy to a state-private supply mix, with about 56% of the 2020 supply coming from private companies. These changes were motivated by the need to expand the energy supply in response to an increasing demand of 10–15% per year. The study also indicated that renewable energy had attracted attention in policy, with policy targets such as 10% renewable energy in the energy mix by 2030 and provision of renewable energy to 1000 off-grid communities by 2030. However, renewable energy currently constitutes less than 1% of the electrical energy mix. Also, there has been no change in the heavy reliance on fossil energy for vehicular transportation. Conclusions The study concludes that energy transition in its broad sense of structural changes in a country’s electrical energy system has occurred in Ghana, however a sustainable energy transition in the sense of a transition to greener energy has not occurred. It is recommended that further studies should be conducted on why Ghana’s renewable energy agenda has so far only been an agenda in policy with very minimal implementation in practice.
... For a developing country like Ghana, environmental concerns are not always considered in the pursuit of economic and development aspirations. This can be seen in the widespread occurrence of livelihood practices like artisanal mining of minerals and sand that continue to happen even though they cause massive environmental degradation (Mensah, 1997;Bonzongo et al, 2003;Hilson, 2011; Agyei-Mensah and Oteng-Ababio, 2012; Obiri et al., 2016). It is nevertheless expected that the price cost to the ordinary citizen shall be an important consideration in choosing between development pathway options, given the generally low levels of wages and salaries. ...
Preprint
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Background In Ghana, energy transition as a research theme is new and its manifestations are not glaring. It is inconclusive as to whether energy transition has occurred or not, and in what form if it has occurred. The study sought to find out if energy transition has occurred in Ghana’s electrical energy sector and how. Methods Pieces of information on Ghana’s electrical energy transition manifestations were obtained from reviews of Ghana’s renewable energy policy documents, namely the Ghana Renewable Energy Act (2011) and the Ghana Renewable Energy Master Plan (2019); reviews of Ghana energy sector reports, newspaper articles and information on the websites of Ghana’s energy sector institutions such as the Volta River Authority, Ghana Grid Company Limited, Electricity Company of Ghana and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company; and personal observations. Results The study found that fundamental changes have occurred in Ghana’s electrical energy sector: in the form of transition from exclusive hydro energy to hydro-thermal mix, with thermal constituting about 69% of the 2020 generation mix; and transition from exclusively State supply to State-private supply mix, with about 56% of present supply coming from private companies. These changes have been motivated by need to expand energy supply in response to increasing demand of 10-15% per annum. Renewable energy has attracted attention in policy, with targets such as 10% renewable energy in the energy mix by 2030 and provision of renewable energy to 1,000 off grid communities by 2030. However, renewable energy currently constitutes less than 1% of the electrical energy mix. There has been no change in heavy reliance on fossil energy for vehicular transportation. Conclusions Energy transition in its broad sense of fundamental changes in a country’s electrical energy system has occurred in Ghana but sustainability energy transition in the sense of transition to greener energy has not occurred in Ghana. It is recommended that further studies are conducted on why Ghana’s renewable energy agenda has so far only been agenda in policy with very minimal implementation in practice.
... Other emerging economic activities include charcoal burning which involves cutting of trees (Akrasi 2005) and salt production (Barry et al. 2005). Furthermore, coastal sand mining which mainly feeds the booming construction industry in the nearby cities of Accra and Tema, despite being illegal, is a common activity (Mensah 2002;Anim et al. 2013;Wiafe et al. 2013;Jonah et al. 2015). Indeed, this practice negatively influences the sediment budget and has contributed significantly to increased erosion along the coast (Appeaning Addo 2015). ...
... Other emerging economic activities include charcoal burning which involves cutting of trees (Akrasi 2005) and salt production (Barry et al. 2005). Furthermore, coastal sand mining which mainly feeds the booming construction industry in the nearby cities of Accra and Tema, despite being illegal, is a common activity (Mensah 2002;Anim et al. 2013;Wiafe et al. 2013;Jonah et al. 2015). Indeed, this practice negatively influences the sediment budget and has contributed significantly to increased erosion along the coast (Appeaning Addo 2015). ...
... Other emerging economic activities include charcoal burning which involves cutting of trees (Akrasi 2005) and salt production (Barry et al. 2005). Furthermore, coastal sand mining which mainly feeds the booming construction industry in the nearby cities of Accra and Tema, despite being illegal, is a common activity (Mensah 2002;Anim et al. 2013;Wiafe et al. 2013;Jonah et al. 2015). Indeed, this practice negatively influences the sediment budget and has contributed significantly to increased erosion along the coast (Appeaning Addo 2015). ...
Chapter
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The Volta Delta has fragile biophysical features affected by damming the Volta River and sand mining among other anthropogenic activities. The disrupted ecosystem adversely impacts livelihoods although efforts have been employed to reduce these impacts including both infrastructure and policies. This chapter describes the biophysical and socio-ecological evolution of the delta using data and information from sources including surveys, censuses and stakeholder engagements. It focuses on the interactions between biophysical processes and human activities. It further describes adaptation practices, migration and resettlement in response to these changes. Finally, the chapter explains governance and response to environmental challenges. Though no explicit delta policy exists, national policies and international treaties are gradually replacing customary laws and taboos to help manage and protect environmental resources in the delta.
... Promoting sedimentation in deltas is a good long-term strategy against SLR. In the deltas that are presented in Fig. 8, sediment reduction and dispersion have been influenced through dams (Bastia and Equeenuddin 2016;Gupta et al. 2012;Gyau-Boakye 2001) and embankment building (Auerbach et al. 2015) plus localised beach mining (Appeaning Addo 2015;Mensah 1997). This has improved livelihoods and development but also enhanced flood and erosion risk, as each delta reports land loss today (Akhand et al. 2017;Armah and Amlalo 1998;Sarwar and Woodroffe 2013) and growing flood plains (Syvitski et al. 2009). ...
Article
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Even if climate change mitigation is successful, sea levels will keep rising. With subsidence, relative sea-level rise represents a long-term threat to low-lying deltas. A large part of coastal Bangladesh was analysed using the Delta Dynamic Integrated Emulator Model to determine changes in flood depth, area and population affected given sea-level rise equivalent to global mean temperature rises of 1.5°C, 2.0°C and 3.0°C with respect to pre-industrial for three ensemble members of a modified A1B scenario. Annual climate variability today (with approximately 1.0°C of warming) is potentially more important, in terms of coastal impacts, than an additional 0.5°C warming. In coastal Bangladesh, the average depth of flooding in protected areas is projected to double to between 0.07m to 0.09m when temperatures are projected at 3.0°C compared with 1.5°C. In unprotected areas, depth of flooding is projected to increase by approximately 50% to 0.21-0.27m, whilst the average area inundated increases 2.5 times (from 5% to 13% of the region) in the same temperature frame. The greatest area of land flooded is projected in the central and north-east regions. In contrast, lower flood depths, less land area flooded and fewer people are projected in the poldered west of the region. Over multi-centennial timescales, climate change mitigation and controlled sedimentation to maintain relative delta height are key to a delta’s survival. With slow rates of sea-level rise, adaptation remains possible, but further support is required. Monitoring of sea-level rise and subsidence in deltas is recommended, together with improved data sets of elevation. <br/
... The construction sector in the coastal areas of Ghana relies heavily on coastal sand and pebbles in the building of houses, bridges and roads [13]. The process of sand mining has accelerated coastal environmental degradation to an alarming rate. ...
... This situation enables waves to break closer to the beach , dissipating their energy and transporting dislodged sediment along and across the shore . It has also been established that beach sand mining for construction purposes is a major source of coastal erosion in Ghana ( Mensah 1997 ) . Mining of the beach sand has resulted in a situation of imbalance in the sediment budget and has led to instability in the system . ...
Article
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Climate change and its associated sea-level rise are expected to significantly affect vulnerable coastal communities. Although the extent of the impact will be localised, its assessment will adopt a monitoring approach that applies globally. The topography of the beach, the type of geological material and the level of human intervention will determine the extent of the area to be flooded and the rate at which the shoreline will move inland. Gleefe, a coastal community in Ghana, has experienced frequent flooding in recent times due to the increasing occurrence of storm surge and sea-level rise. This study used available geospatial data and field measurements to determine how the beach topography has contributed to the incidence of flooding at Gleefe. The topography is generally low-lying. Sections of the beach have elevations of around 1 m, which allows seawater to move inland during very high tide. Accelerated sea-level rise as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will destroy homes of the inhabitants and inundate the Densu wetlands behind the beach. Destruction of infrastructure will render the inhabitants homeless, whilst flooding of the wetlands will destroy the habitats of migratory birds and some endangered wildlife species such as marine turtle. Effective adaptation measures should be adopted to protect this very important coastal environment, the ecology of the wetlands and the livelihoods of the community dwellers.
... Many legal and illegal sand mining activities and their subsequent rehabilitation have occurred along the coastlines of many countries. These activities have caused a great deal of damage to the coastal environment resulting in coastal erosion and biodiversity loss through monoculture plantations [25]. Thus, for those coasts that have been environmentally affected by sand mining practices, knowing the historical record of a coast is important for the future planning. ...
Article
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Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) offers a non-invasive, high-resolution subsurface imaging method that can be used to investigate and characterise the sedimentary features and depositional history of various coastal deposits. GPR utilizes the wave properties of electromagnetic waves in the megahertz frequency range and can generate 2D and 3D images of the subsurface to identify coastal depositional features to a depth in excess of 20m. In this study we use a series of GPR surveys to identify the depth and physical characteristics of an infilled site formerly subject to sand mining for heavy mineral sands. We outline a fast non-invasive technique that allows large areas of coastal dunes to be imaged for the purposes of delineating past land uses. The technique is likely to be particularly applicable to developing coasts where the historical record is incomplete or fragmentary or there has been a history of poorly constrained or illegal sand mining.
... This is a well-documented problem not only in the Caribbean, but worldwide, and has drastically transformed coastal environments. Sand mining is considered to be one of the primary agents for altering or destroying coastlines in Africa (Mensah 1997; Masalu 2002), the Pacific Islands (Hesp and Hilton 1996; Hesp et al. 1999; Nunn 2000), Azores (Borges et al. 2002), Maldives (Brown and Dunne 1988), Taiwan (Hou et al. 2002), and Korea (Cho 2006), to name a few. ...
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In this paper I review a host of natural and cultural processes that have affected the preservation and integrity of archaeological sites on islands in the West Indies, many of which are located in low-lying coastal areas. Given the position of the Caribbean lithospheric plate—juxtaposed between four others—it is no surprise that by its very nature the region is volcanically active and frequently associated with earthquake and tsunami events. This makes coastal zones, and related archaeological sites in the region, highly susceptible to a wide range of destructive natural events. The high frequency of tropical systems (hurricanes and storms) in the Caribbean and rising sea level, coupled with human activities such as sand mining, development, and looting, makes the region’s archaeological record one of the most vulnerable and threatened in the world. Ongoing research is dedicated to understanding how past populations may have been affected by these events in the past.
... Most of the local inhabitants use the beach sand to build their houses, which ends up affecting the sediment budget in the area. Lack of jobs for the local population has made some of the local inhabitants to engage in mining and selling beach sand (Mensah 1997). Although this activity is banned, the presence of a readily available market for the commodity and lack of enforcement of the ban is making the business to thrive. ...
Article
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The interface between the sea and land is a very dynamic system that is always migrating landward or seaward. The landward migration results in the shoreline threatening coastal infrastructure and destroying the coastal environment. Coastal erosion has resulted in both social and economic problems. Coastal cities have also experienced increasing infrastructure development and population growth. This has resulted in a land “squeeze situation” in which both the shoreline and the “humanline” are competing for space along the coast. This struggle for space could result in serious environmental disaster as a result of the dynamics of the oceanic system, which could impact the immediate environs severely. The aim of this study was to determine if the rate of human encroachment of coastal lands for development exceed the rate at which the shoreline is moving inland as part of its natural cyclic behaviour. This study used 1985 aerial photographs and 2005 orthophoto map of the Accra western coast. Major land cover was identified, classified and overlayed in GIS environment. This enabled changes to be estimated. The shorelines were also digitised and the rate of change computed using the DSAS software. The results indicate that the estimated total area of land lost by human encroachment on the coastal land within the period under study is about 242,139.7 m2. However, the rate of land lost to human development is about 8,349.64 m2/year, which is relatively high. The historic rate of erosion computed for the period under study is about 1.92 m/year. Comparing the two rates indicates that human activities are moving closer to the shoreline as compared to the rate at which the shoreline is moving inland. This study recommends that setback lines should be put in place to protect lands for the shoreline’s cyclic activities.
... Extraction of sand and gravel resources has a number of adverse environmental impacts (Sonak et al. 2006; Kondolf 1994, 1997), which were first reported in the developed world. As a result of the above-mentioned globalization of sand mining, concern about environmental impacts is increasingly reported from other countries: for example China (Wu et al. 2007; Lu et al. 2007), Ghana (Mensah 2002) and India (Padmalal et al. 2008). Consequently, it has been argued that, because of this globalizing extent and the magnitude of its impacts, sand mining should be considered as an aspect of global environmental change (Sonak et al. 2006). ...
Article
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Planning for the extraction of aggregates is typically dealt with at a case to case basis, without assessing environmental impacts strategically. In this study we assess the impact of sand mining in Poyang Lake, where dredging began in 2001 after sand mining in the Yangtze River had been banned. In April 2008 concern over the impact on the biodiversity led to a ban on sand mining in Poyang Lake until further plans could be developed. Planning will require consideration of both sand extraction in relation to available sediment resources and also environmental impacts within the context of future demand for sand in the lower Yangtze Valley. We used pairs of near-infrared (NIR) Aster satellite imagery to estimate the number of vessels leaving the lake. Based on this we calculated a rate of sand extraction of 236millionm3year−1 in 2005–2006. This corresponds to 9% of the total Chinese demand for sand. It qualifies Poyang Lake as probably the largest sand mining operation in the world. It also indicates that sand extraction currently dominates the sediment balance of the lower Yangtze River. A positive relation between demand for sand and GDP, revealed by historic data from the USA, suggests that the current per capita demand for sand in China might increase in the near future from 2 to 4m3year−1. We review various environmental impacts and question whether it will be possible to preserve the rich biodiversity of the lake, while continuing at the same time satisfying the increasing Chinese demand for sand. Finally we review alternative options for sand mining, in order to relieve the pressure from the Poyang Lake ecosystem. KeywordsSand mining-Environmental impact-Hydrology-Sediment balance-Biodiversity
... Management of this coast has been undermined by a scarcity of geospatial data and great inconsistency in reported rates of shoreline change, which vary between two and eight metres per year (e.g. Ly (1980) and Mensah (1997)). It is clear that erosion has affected the social and economic life of the resident population, threatened cultural heritage and hindered coastal tourism development. ...
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Coastal mapping, using various data capture and feature extraction techniques, has furthered understanding of trends in shoreline evolution by allowing calculation of accurate historic rates of change that subsequently enable the prediction of future shoreline positions through different modelling procedures. The results have helped influence coastal policy formulation and promoted the development of sustainable management practices in coastal regions throughout the developed world. However, sustainable coastal management is rarely practiced in developing countries, one of the fundamental reasons for this being a general lack of reliable and accurate historic data on shoreline position. Previous studies on the Ghanaian coastal region of Accra, where accurate and reliable geospatial data for analysis is scarce, have reported erosion rates of anything between two and eight metres per year. This high level of inconsistency in reported rates has hindered effective and sustainable coastal management. The research reported in this paper addresses this issue, using mapping data from 1904, 1974, 1996 and 2002 to estimate, by linear regression, shoreline recession in the Accra region. Predictions for the next 250 yr were then undertaken using a variety of techniques ranging from a process-based numerical model, SCAPE, to geometric approaches including historical trend analysis, the modified Bruun model and Sunamura’s shore platform model. Uncertainties in the various input data were accounted for, including historic recession rates, rock strength, sediment content and, importantly, future sea-level rise under different climate change scenarios. The mean historic rate of erosion in the Accra region was found to be 1.13 m/yr(±0.17 m/yr), significantly less than previously reported, though still very high. Subsequent predictions were used to identify a series of significant economic, ecological and social features at risk, and to estimate when they will most likely be lost to erosion if left unprotected. The case study illustrates that, provided suitable predictive models are selected and the uncertainties involved in working with limited data sets are dealt with appropriately, it is possible to provide statistical information in support of sustainable coastal management for developing countries in the face of a changing climate.
... The measures are implemented with little consideration for geomorphological sensitivity of the site and results in creating more problems down-drift. Beach sediment mining activity has increased along Ghana's shore due to the fast growing construction industry and the readily available market for the product (Mensah 1997). Coastal erosion along the Accra coast, apart from changing the geomorphic state, has also affected the social and economic life of the local population, threatened cultural heritage and hindered coastal tourism development (Norley 2006). ...
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Coastal features in Ghana's Accra coast reflect both past and present processes that have been undergoing changes. These changes are influenced by a range of morphogenic factors such as geology and climatic conditions. These regimes have shaped the coastal geomorphic features through weathering processes that decompose and disintegrate the coastal rock. Sea level rise due to climate change is expected to increase coastal erosion and thus result in rapid changes in shoreline positions. Historic rate of sea level rise in Accra coast is about 2 mm/yr (Ibe & Quelennec, 1989) which is predicted to reach approximately 6 mm/yr in the next century since it conforms to the global change (Armah et al., 2005). This will result in flooding of vulnerable areas and enable waves to break closer inland. The effectiveness of the erosion process is aided considerably by the type of geology. Accra coastal zone has three types of rock in three identified geomorphic regions. They include unconsolidated and poorly consolidated rock along the western region, the Accraian series occupying the central region and the Dahomeyan series in the eastern region. The geology has thus influenced the extent to which the coastal features have changed and the type of cliff that is formed as a result of erosion within the regions. Generally, soft rock coastal features decay more rapidly than those of hard rock and tend to act as sediment sources. Human activities such as dam construction over the Densu River, engineering interventions to check the spread of erosion and sand mining has created sediment deficit which has exacerbated coastal erosion in Accra. Anthropogenic factors are estimated to account for 70-90% of coastal erosion problems in Accra.
... Detection of the erosion 'hotpots' along the Accra coast of Ghana has been undermined by a scarcity of geospatial data and great inconsistency in reported rates of change, which vary between 1.5 and 10 m/yr (Ly, 1980; Mensah, 1997; Kohli, 2003; Norley, 2006). It is evident that erosion has affected the social and economic life of the local population, threatened cultural heritage (forts and castles) and hindered coastal tourism development (Norley, 2006). ...
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The coastline, which is defined as the physical interface of land and water, is constantly changing as it seeks to achieve and maintain equilibrium among many opposing natural and human induced forces in the coastal zone. Coastline change, which is a natural phenomenon that follows the variations in relative sea level, climate and ecosystems, may be exacerbated by human activities in recent times. Information about where the coastline is and where it has been in the past is therefore important, since it can be used to derive quantitative estimates of the rate of coastline change (erosion or accretion), which in turn can be used to identify areas of extensive erosion problems. This knowledge serves to provide a basis for the implementation of sound coastal zone management strategies, coastal environmental protection policies and sustainable coastal development and planning schemes. Ghana’s Accra coast, in common with those of the rest of the world, has changed over millions of years in response to changes in their natural environment. Such changes have occurred over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales, and are presently influenced by human activities. The lateral changes in the coastline position have resulted in coastal erosion, which has destroyed the coastal environment, affected the social economic life of the local population, threatened cultural heritage and hindered coastal tourism development. Previous studies have cited different erosion rates in Accra’s coastline, which ranges from 2m to 10m per year. The inconsistency in the published recession rates makes it difficult to detect the erosion ‘hotspots’ along the shore. Accra’s coastline historic rate of erosion terms was statistically calculated using Digital Shoreline Analysis System. Available geospatial data, which includes a bathymetric map from Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority produced in 1904, topographic maps produced by the Survey Department of Ghana in 1974 and 1996, and a map of Ghana produced by CTK Aviation in 2002 were used to create a database in ArcGIS. Orthogonal transects were generated along which historic recession rates were calculated using linear regression. This paper will describe how historic rates were determined and how the erosion hotspots were detected accounting for identified sources of uncertainty.
Purpose Globally, rapid urbanisation characterised by increasing demand for housing and infrastructure needs has resulted in sand mining. In Ghana, sand mining can create or destroy the livelihoods of people in urban and rural areas. This paper examines the interaction between sand mining and land-based livelihood security in Awutu Senya District (ASD) and Awutu Senya East Municipality (ASEM). Design/methodology/approach Based on pragmatism philosophy, the study used a mixed methods approach to collect quantitative data and qualitative data from 431 household heads, ten core staff of the Assemblies, five traditional leaders, two tipper truck drivers' associations and ten farmer groups. Statistical Product and Service Solutions, version 21 and NVivo 12 facilitated quantitative data analysis and qualitative data analysis, respectively. Findings The study revealed that sand mining had different consequences on land-based livelihood security. Some block makers and truck drivers acknowledged positive effects of sand mining on their livelihoods while the majority of the household respondents and other key informants claimed that sand mining had negative effects on their livelihoods. Research limitations/implications This paper focuses on two selected local government areas in Ghana. Therefore, the results may be generalised on the country with caution because local government areas have different characteristics. Further research is needed to contact the customers of sand in Accra. Originality/value This study provides new insight into the connections between sand mining and people's livelihood security in two local government areas. It also introduces a novel idea of collaboration among stakeholders to address negative effects associated with unsustainable sand mining.
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The concluding part of this book discusses the summary, discussion and implications of the findings from the study on coastal sand mining in Lagos. The chapter gives a recap of the several findings from the study, the general discussion of these findings in relation to existing studies, the implications of the findings for environmental sustainability and the built environment in Lagos and other parts of African coastal communities.
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Sand mining is probably the largest mining activity and the most profitable.
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This chapter of the book deals with the review of existing literature.
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Sand frontiers all over the world are expanding owing to the growing demand for construction sand. While several scholarly interventions are devoted to accounting for the extensive ecological damage and ways of improving sand governance, this article focuses on politicising these ecological transformations, in the process, understanding the nature of sand frontiers from the very local level. It does so by analysing placebased socio-political and economic dynamics of sand extraction in Zimbabwe's Eyrecourt Farm. The case study shows that local dynamics configure sand extraction spaces into politicised and ungovernable extractive geographies. These findings are not only representative of Zimbabwe's sand frontier. They also hold true in sand spaces linked to transnational networks of demand and supply. Overall, the study demonstrates the importance of local dynamics in understanding the emergence, development, and functioning of sand frontiers. The local dynamics unearthed here also help us break down the notion of a global sand frontier by positioning place-based dynamics as more important to understand.
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Sand mining is a global activity that has attracted wide attention due partly to its invaluable positive contributions to development and partly to its negative socio-environmental impacts. While sand mining supports urbanization by providing essential aggregate materials for urban real estate and construction sectors, it however undermines environmental sustainability especially in coastal regions. In spite of this, very sparse research has explained the socio-environmental dimensions of sand mining in Nigerian coastal communities. This study therefore explored the drivers and impacts of sand mining based on the data from a survey of residents in four Lagos sand mining coastal communities. Results showed that sand mining activity is driven by a number of urbanization related factors while sand mining impacts are underlined by a number of sustainability related factors. However, using exploratory analytical techniques we found that four urbanization components described the drivers of sand mining and four sustainability components described the impacts of sand mining in Lagos. The paper concludes on the puzzling dilemma of sand mining that supports thriving urbanization but undermines environmental sustainability in Lagos. The implications of the findings for environmental sustainability in Lagos coastal areas were concisely presented.
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Mining is of interest to geomorphologists because of the unique types of excavated and accumulated landforms and landscapes that are vulnerable to geomorphic hazards. Mining is extensive worldwide. It produces more sediment than paved road construction, house construction or agriculture. Mining is associated with increasing vulnerability to slope failures, erosion, floods, sedimentation, subsidence, and other geomorphic hazards. Understanding and effectively applying geomorphic principles are important for preventing or minimizing the negative effects of mining. This chapter discusses the types and history of mining operations and associated geomorphic impacts that may result in characteristic landforms and landscapes. It then describes mining-related geomorphic hazards and the nascent fields of sustainable mining and mined-land reclamation. We have much still to learn from the study of mining landscapes, with potential applications in landscape evolution, models of geomorphic hazards, reclamation, and Quaternary geology and geomorphology. Given a growing global population and expanding demands for mineral resources, the need for sustainable practices will increase and wise application of geomorphic knowledge in mined landscapes will become increasingly important.
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In Ethiopia, particularly in Tana Sub-Basin, irrigation development practice is increasing. However, this development ignored the fisheries; no, enough information about its effects. The sub-basin is rich in fisheries, including the 17 Labeobarbus species (the only remaining cyprinid species in the world). The fishery is also supporting over 6000 fishers. Hence, this study investigated the impact of irrigation practices on the Gilgel Abay, Ribb, and Gumara fisheries. Methods include fish sampling below and above the weirs, expert interviews, key informant interviews, secondary data, and impact significance matrix methods. The data collection time was from July 2019 to June 2020. The analysis of the data was qualitative and quantitative. The existing irrigation system affects fisheries by blocking upstream spawning migration routes (Gilgel Abay Weir and Ribb Dam, for sure catch below the Gilgel Abay Weir, significantly higher than above the weir, Shannon Index (H’), P < 0.001). Besides, according to local sources, after 2007, Gumara and Ribb Rivers became seasonal because of excessive water abstraction for irrigation, resulting in mass fish-killing and the failure of juvenile recruitment to the lake. In one instance, we recorded the deaths of over 930 adults and juveniles on the Gumara and the Ribb Rivers. Succeeding low water volume, even non-fishers collect fish from the pools; and during spawning time, fishers target spawning migratory species at the weirs where the catch is prime is also the other problem. Other threatening elements can also aggravate the impact. Hence, these impacts need to be ameliorated by practicing efficacious water use, catchment treatment, fishery management, fish ladder development, and factor alleviation can be solutions.
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Sand is considered one of the most consumed natural resource, being essential to many industries, including building construction, electronics, plastics, and water filtration. This paper assesses the environmental impact of sand extraction and the problems associated with its illegal exploitation. The analysis indicates that extracting sand at a greater rate than that at which it is naturally replenished has adverse consequences for fauna and flora. Further, illicit mining activities compound environmental damages and result in conflict, the loss of taxes/royalties, illegal work, and losses in the tourism industry. As sea-level rise associated with climate change threatens coastal areas, sand in coastal areas will play an increasingly greater role in determining the amount of damage from floods and erosion. The present analysis points to the need for swift action to regulate sand mining, monitoring, law enforcement, and international cooperation.
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Deltas are in a constant state of flux owing to hazards such as flooding, sea erosion and human activities. Climate change will probably increase the incidence of coastal recession and flooding of deltas. Reducing the vulnerability of deltas/coastal zones requires comprehensive studies to plan appropriate adaptation policies. However, studies on the coastal hazards of Densu delta have been limited to a few localities and also of short-term periods of less than a decade. Owing to uncertainties of natural hazard processes long-time and cyclical analysis of coastal zones provides accurate data on the state of such physical forces and their impact on the landscape and human activities if habited. Accordingly, a holistic investigation of the hazards plaguing the deltaic coastline from a long-term perspective was undertaken to determine hazards plaguing the delta and investigate the causes and impacts on the livelihoods of residents, undertake a longer-term shoreline change analysis of the coastline, and have understanding on institutional management and coping strategies of residents to the hazards. Methods adopted for the study included interviews and focus group discussions, shoreline change analysis and field exploration. The study revealed that the Densu delta is plagued by floods and coastal recession which are affecting lives and properties. Several human and physical processes (e.g., sea-level rise, increasing rainfall, encroachment of reservations) were identified as drivers of these hazards. Government needs to resource local authorities and relevant statutory agencies to enable them effectively perform their roles regarding development planning in the locality to curb these hazards.
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A project collecting a total of 24.3 million cubic meters of sea sand from the aggregate extraction complex in the exclusive economic zone of the South Sea in South Korea has been under way. The government needs information about the public perspective on the environmental impacts of the sea sand mining project. This paper attempts to examine the public perspective by employing a choice experiment (CE). The attributes chosen to represent the environmental impacts are an increase in coastal erosion, a decrease in benthos, a decrease in fish, and deterioration of the sea water quality, and the price attribute is the additional annual income tax per household. A total of 1000 interviewees were surveyed across the country through person-to-person interviews. A mixed logit model, which has the advantage of being able to reflect preference heterogeneity, was applied to estimating a utility function from the gathered CE data. All the coefficients for the attributes were estimated to be statistically significant. The environmental costs of a 1% increase in coastal erosion, a 1% decrease in benthos, a 1% decrease in fish, and a 1% deterioration in the sea water quality were KRW 100 (USD 0.09), 76 (0.07), 152 (0.14), and 123 (0.11), respectively, per household per year. Combining these results with the environmental impact assessment results for the project allows a quantitative assessment of the environmental costs of the project.
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Sand extraction from beaches and inland dunes and dredging from ocean and river beds have significantly increased in recent decades. Sand is mainly used in construction and often in manufacturing as an abrasive or in concrete. Sand dunes present on shorelines are formed by a combination of wind and waves and stabilized with native dune grass. Dunes protect the coastal areas from the destructive forces of damaging waves and wind. Similarly sand deposits in the river stream and in the estuaries help to maintain the water balance and protect the riparian areas. However, mining of sand from coastal dunes and river bed creates negative consequences in the coastal ecosystems. Most importantly instream sand mining lowers streambed elevation, accelerates erosion, and affects the adjoining groundwater system. Sand mining involving both onshore and offshore sites seriously affects the coastal ecosystem and threatens the survival of several flora and fauna. On the other hand, there is a mounting pressure on the available sand deposits for various purposes. There are three logical approaches to meet the challenge and protect the coastal ecosystem, viz. regulation of use of existing deposits, reclamation of mined sites, and alternative sources of sand. These aspects are discussed in this chapter in detail.
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Shoreline change is an issue of concern to coastal stake holders because the coastal zone is home to over 60% of the world’s population. In Ghana, for instance, shoreline change has been associated with loss of economic lands and properties. Previous researches have showed that the coastline is eroding at variable rates in spatial times. Studies have also shown that shoreline change trends vary in geologic time scale, such that erosion or accretion is reversible along same shore at different time periods. The Eastern and Central Zones of the Ghanaian coast are said to be receding while the Western Zone is thought of as stable. This opinion, however, contrasts field observations and interview with local coastal community members. This research sought to determine the shoreline change trends in the study area over short-term (1974–2005) and long-term (1895–2005) interval so as to ascertain the variability of shoreline trends to aid future prediction. From available multi-temporal datasets of topographic maps and ortho photographs, the shoreline feature was extracted using the High Water Line (HWL) as an indicator. From which the shoreline time series datasets were overlaid before transects cast using DSAS an extension of ArcGIS. The shoreline change statistics were computed analysed. The results show a mean rate change of - 4.18 m/year for the entire study area, while the Western Section recorded a mean of 5.4 m/year and the Eastern Section recorded a mean of 2.36 m/year. An average shoreline change rate of −6.55 m/year recorded for the entire study area in the long term analysis. The Eastern Section is eroding at a rate of −2.18 m/year while a portion of the Western Section registered highest change rates with a mean of −11.64 m/year. Examination of the short and long terms shoreline change trends revealed a condition of long period of irreversible recession of the shoreline with little accretion at most portions of the study area.
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The built environment contributes significantly to the emission of greenhouse gases. Empirical evidence suggests that these gases are principally responsible for climate change. To mitigate the impact of climate change on the environment, there is an increasing need to ensure that infrastructure projects are sustainable. Hence, this chapter presents a systematic review of extant literature on metrics for evaluating the sustainability of infrastructure projects, as there are currently limited studies that have holistically addressed the lack of theoretical information on the metrics for evaluating the sustainability of infrastructure. Indicative results from the extant review of literature revealed that the number of publications on sustainability metrics has been increasing and there are a growing number of systems and sustainable development indicators for measuring the sustainability of infrastructure projects. These findings suggest that issues relating to sustainability are becoming more important to built-environment researchers and practitioners. The results of the study provide valuable insights on the trends and gaps in theoretical knowledge on metrics for measuring the sustainability of infrastructure projects in the global South. The identified metrics in this chapter could be used in the development of an infrastructure decision support tool that can be used by for project teams to facilitate optimization of processes associated with sustainable infrastructure projects.
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Coastal erosion is a serious environmental problem that has caused the loss of private infrastructure and national assets along Ghana’s coast. Several hard engineering measures have thus been used to protect some communities and vital state assets when they became threatened. Regardless of this problem, sediment mining activities are increasingly practiced along most of Ghana’s coast, further exacerbating coastal erosion intensity and degrading coastal ecosystems. This paper provides an overview of the activities of coastal sediment miners along four administrative Districts in the Central Region of Ghana and identifies how issues arising from the practice are managed at the local community level as well as by state environmental regulators. The study uses a mixed-method approach, involving individual and group interviews, administration of a set of structured questionnaire and field observations, to identify coastal sediment mining and emerging management issues. Overall, three main categories of coastal sediment mining activities were identified in the area. Results indicate that coastal sediment mining is widely practiced by both commercial contractors and community members, giving rise to the high perception among residents that it is the reason for the degradation of the coastline in the studied areas. The study also established that state environmental regulators have weak inter-agency cooperation leading to poor enforcement of environmental laws and non-prosecution of offending individuals. The paper suggests that since each identified sediment mining activity has its own peculiar issues and mode of operation, coastal managers should address each category independently in order to derive lasting impacts in curtailing the practice.
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A key issue worldwide is the extent to which the beach/foredune is migrating (moving landward). This situation (Physical States 1 and 2) is the most frequently encountered, seaward progradation (Physical State 3) much less so. This chapter considers the ecosystem services and values of the three states identified in Chap. 4 and the trends and trade-offs associated with different management options. It provides an explanation of the way the values of each state change in response to both spatial and temporal driving forces. It reviews the influence of human activities on these values, providing a basis for assessing the need for intervention. The chapter includes a simple ‘State Evaluation Model’, designed to help decision-making for nature conservation purposes at the beach/foredune interface. The next Chap. 7 considers the trends and trade-offs associated with inland, more stable vegetated dune forms.
Article
Sand and gravel materials are often used in Ethiopia's construction sector. However, the impacts of sand mining on the water body's habitat and biodiversity are not yet considered in the country. In this paper, we study how sand mining activities at Lake Tana and its inflowing rivers affect the environment and spawning grounds of the endemic Labeobarbus species. We measured physico-chemical parameters in-situ and developed structured questionnaires to collect primary data on the fishery and sand mining. We found significant differences in conductivity, total dissolved solids and temperature among sampling sites (P<0.05). Majority (>90 per cent) of the respondents confirmed the drastic physical changes in the rivers and a severe decline in fish production. The study revealed that the ecology of the mined rivers was seriously affected by sand mining, which interfered with migratory routes of fishes and resulted in loss of their spawning grounds. The unregulated sand mining also conflicted with the interests of the fisheries management and environment. Thus, urgent policy intervention is needed to protect the ever-declining Labeobarbus species of Lake Tana and the environment. © 2016 Department of Geography, National University of Singapore and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.
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Coastal erosion is a serious problem that affects the safety and livelihoods of many coastal dwellers along Ghana's coast. Despite the fact that coastal erosion is a natural phenomenon, erosion trends have been largely aggravated by human-induced factors. This study analyzed shoreline change rates for three neighbouring coastal communities in the Central region of Ghana; Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree. Two epochs were analyzed, 1974–2012 (medium-term) and 2005–2012 (short-term), using ArcGIS and Digital Shoreline Analysis System. Overall, the entire study area recorded average shoreline change rates of −1.24 myear−1 and −0.85 myear−1 in the medium-term and short-term period respectively. Less consolidated shoreline segments recorded higher erosion rates in both periods while cliffs and rocky segments experienced very little erosion or high stability. Because shorelines undergoing chronic erosion do not fully recover after short-term erosion events such as storms, facilities located close to such shorelines are threatened. Taking a proactive approach to coastal erosion management, such as coastal sand mining prevention, inter-sectoral land use management and adopting a construction setback approach may be prudent for the long-term management of the coast since this recognizes future shoreline changes and safeguards coastal landscape for other uses.
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The increasing urbanization of much of the world’s coasts threatens irreversible damages to beach ecosystems, if unchecked. Unfortunately, beach monitoring programmes for remediation actions are uncommon, especially for less developed nationswhere infrastructural development and socio-economic goals are regarded more important than environmental goals. This study aimed at obtaining information about the effects of themodification and use of beaches and dunes on beach biota using ghost crab burrow density and size as variables. The study tested a hypothesis that themean densities and sizes of ghost crab burrows on six beaches under three categories of human use in the Central Region of Ghana are different. Results indicated that low use beaches had significantly higher numbers of burrows and larger burrow sizes compared tomediumuse and high use beaches. Since physical and environmental parameters were consistently the same amongst the six surveyed beaches, the paper concluded that the differences in the observed beach use and dune modifications were responsible for the observed differences in ghost crab abundance and sizes. Major beach use such as intense trampling levels and clearing of dune vegetation for infrastructural developments are most likely responsible for the observed differences. On account of ecological considerations, it is recommended that beach land use reforms by coastalmunicipal authorities inGhana should ensure that infrastructure development along undeveloped sections of the coast is limited to a safe distance from the shoreline. There should also be consideration of natural vegetation barriers between development and the beach to enhance natural beach–dune ecosystem interaction.
Article
Like most coastlines the world over, Ghana's coast has been receding, requiring management interventions to protect coastal communities and assets of national importance. In order to adopt sound management interventions that would have a long lasting positive impact on the coastal zone, an understanding of the historic pattern of coastline change and coastal dynamics is required. This paper presents an analysis of the historic trends in coastline changes along the Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree area of Ghana using three shoreline data that spans a period of 38 years using ArcGIS and Digital Shoreline Analysis System tools. The study found that the Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree area had been eroding at a rate of 1.22 m/year ± 0.16 m from 1974 to 2012. It was identified that the widespread practice of beach sand mining in the area has significantly contributed to the erosion of several sections of the coastline. The study also identified the lack of an existing coastline management plan for Ghana's coast as the reason for the poor coastal erosion management techniques often used by coastal managers in response to the threat of coastal erosion, which eventually causes an acceleration of local erosion rates. The study finally makes a case for the adoption of a proactive and coordinated coastline management plan for Ghana's coast similar to that of the United Kingdom shoreline management plans because of the numerous known advantages.
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Mining is an activity integral to modern society that has a long history and occurs in a wide range of geomorphic settings. It is of interest to geomorphologists because of the unique types of excavated and accumulated landforms and landscapes that are vulnerable to geomorphic hazards. Mining landscapes covered more than a half million hectares worldwide in 1990 (Young, 1992), and are responsible for more sediment production than paved road construction, house construction, and agriculture, which, in combination, produce more sediment than natural processes (Hooke, 1994). Mining-related removal of vegetation and surface sediments, blasting, creation of stock piles and gangue, and increasing slopes make landscapes more vulnerable to failures, erosion, floods, subsidence, and other geomorphic hazards and have been the subject of a number of studies. Effective application of geomorphology is an important tool in preventing or minimizing the negative effects of mining. This chapter discusses the types of mining operations, the history of mining, and some current geomorphic topics in mining, which include landforms and landscapes, geomorphic impacts and hazards, and the nascent field of mined land reclamation. We have much still to learn from the study of mining landscapes, with potential applications in landscape evolution, models of geomorphic hazards, reclamation, and Quaternary geology and geomorphology. Given a growing global population, and expanding demands for mineral resources, the need for sustainable practices will increase and wise application of geomorphic knowledge in mined landscapes will become increasingly important.
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Abstract Human impact has increased stunningly the last century with coastal problems being one manifestation of environmental injustice with ecological, economic, and social dimensions on coastal resources. The study sought to assess the residents’ perception of coastline changes in the milieu of the rampant sand mining activities along the Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree coastline of Ghana. The study employed the purposive sampling technique: 100 respondents were engaged from the selected study areas through simple random sampling method. Interviews, Focus group discussions, observations and questionnaire were the main instruments used. The study revealed that beach sand mining is widespread across the Elmina-Cape Coast-Moree coastline and takes place in several forms, with the magnitude of sand taken from the beach being dependent on the transportation medium and the purpose to which sand is to be put. It is considered that the 1995 National Environmental Policy has become outdated and the dedicated to the coastal zone are irrelevant due to new research data and trends in administration. The time is right for a concerted national policy dedicated to only the coastal zone that takes into consideration the multiplicity of use of the zone and adopts an integrated management approach. Keywords Erosion • Environmental injustice • Sand mining • Degradation • Ghana
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Coastal erosion poses serious threat to life and properties along Ghana’s coast. This is because major industries, urban settlements, recreational facilities, heritage and conservation sites are located few metres from the coast. In spite of this threat, management strategies, both past and present, remain an “ad hoc” and site specific. Limited attention has been given to large scale assessment and investigation to detect the rate of coastal recession and the size of land lost to the sea to inform integrated management plan and to formulate sustainable management strategies to deal with the problem. This paper provides large scale assessment of coastal recession in Ghana through field investigation, applied coastal geomorphology and GIS techniques to selected case study areas. The assessment covered 203 km out of the 540 km coastline of Ghana. Results of the assessment indicate that coastal erosion is very substantial and wide spread along the coast, but the rate of recession varies across the entire coastline. Significant amounts of losses of settlements have been experienced in some localities in the eastern coast (Keta and Ada) and the central coast (Accra, Shama and Sekondi-Takoradi). In some areas, coastal defences have been built to reduce the impacts, yet many areas are still very vulnerable. Interestingly, the paper identified that the high rates of retreat recorded in many areas have yet to cause major risks in some local communities because of the presence of a buffer of largely undeveloped land that has existed historically between the shoreline and the developments. However, recent increase in coastal tourism in Ghana has led to “scramble” for purchase of these buffer lands for development, which increase the risk. Ghana has the opportunity to use education and land use planning to keep the coastline clear of major developments and avoid the temptation of engaging in costly cycle of development-risk-defence experienced in many countries including the UK and the Netherlands. The paper recommends that Ghana should adopt the UK SMP, which has progressively moved away from the traditional re-active and parochial approaches of providing localised hard-engineered coastal defence work to solve what was perceived to be a local problem, to a more pro-active and holistic approach that take full account of coastal dynamics, interrelationships of coastal systems, knock-on effects, environment concerns and developments at the backshore.
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Sea-level rise is a major coastal issue in the 21st century because many of the world’s built assets are located in the coastal zone. Coastal erosion and flooding are serious threats along the coast of Ghana, particularly, the eastern coast where the Volta delta is located. Past human interventions, climate change and the resultant rise in sea-levels, increased storm intensity and torrential rainfall have been blamed for these problems. Accelerated sea-level rise and storm surge pose serious threat to coastal habitat, bio-diversity and socio-economic activities in the coastal zone of Ghana and elsewhere. There is the need for an holistic assessment of the impacts of sea-level rise on the coast zone in order to formulate appropriate adaptation policies and strategies to mitigate the possible effects. Using the eastern coast of Ghana as a case study, this paper assesses the physical impacts of accelerated sea level rise and storm surge on the coastal environment. It evaluates adaptation policies and plans that could be implemented to accommodate the present and any future impacts. Field investigation and Geographic Information System (GIS) are among the methods used for the assessment. The outcome of the assessment has provided comprehensive knowledge of the potential impacts of accelerated sea-level rise and storm surge on the eastern coast. It has facilitated identification of management units, the appraisal of alternate adaptation policies and the selection of the best policy options based upon the local conditions and environmental sustainability. Among other things, this paper reveals that the eastern coast of Ghana is highly vulnerable to accelerated sea-level rise and therefore, requires sustainable adaptation policies and plans to manage the potential impacts. It recommends that various accommodation policies, which enable areas to be occupied for longer before eventual retreat, could be adapted to accommodate vulnerable settlements in the eastern coast of Ghana.
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The world over, coastal zones are known to support a wide range of critical habitats, unique biodiversity, host 50% of human populations and site development projects. These make coastal zones quite complex, dynamic and fragile and therefore challenging to manage. Shoreline status assessment is an invaluable tool for coastal resource management given the escalating impacts of emerging global geophysical changes, such as rising sea levels, and rapid coastal development. In this contribution, shoreline change detection of Accra, Ghana was modeled with an innovative technique that combined dated historic maps, aerial photography, satellite imagery, conventional or global position system (GPS) ground surveys and laser altimetry data. Such a technique shows the relative response of coastal geomorphic features and geology to coastal processes. The results of the assessment revealed that the Accra shoreline has receded at an average rate of 1.13 m/year, which is attributable to several factors. This rate of change poses a looming threat to coastal lands and infrastructure in the zone. Essentially, this study demonstrate that reliable historic erosion rates can be estimated using the proposed technique for developing nations where geospatial data is scarce. These findings have important implications for formulating reliable and sustainable coastal management strategies in developing countries.
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Archaeological investigations on the island of Carriacou in the southern Lesser Antilles, west Indies, have revealed prehistoric sites dating from CAL A.D. 400 to 1400. Grand Bay is one of the largest and archaeologically richest sites on the island and in the region, but is rapidly succumbing to erosion from natural forces and human activities. A similar problem affects the site of Sabazan. Both sites are located on the windward east coast of the island and have been, or are currently, mined for sand; two hurricanes also occurred recently. Photographs and extensive mapping of Grand Bay and preliminary work at Sabazan indicate that both sites are eroding at an average rate of approximately 1 m per year along the lengths of their coastal profiles. These data, combined with a quantification of materials recovered from excavation at Grand Bay, indicate that the loss of cultural remains from natural and human causes is catastrophic and that these sites will likely be completely destroyed within the next two decades if erosion continues at its present rate.
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Shoreline change analysis provides important information upon which most coastal zone management and intervention policies rely. Such information is however mostly scarce for large and inaccessible shorelines largely due to expensive field work. This study investigated the reliability of medium resolution satellite imagery for mapping shoreline positions and for estimating historic rate of change. Both manual and semi-automatic shoreline extraction methods for multi-spectral satellite imageries were explored. Five shoreline positions were extracted for 1986, 1991, 2001, 2007 and 2011 covering a medium term of 25 years period. Rates of change statistics were calculated using the End Point Rate and Weighted Linear Regression methods. Approximately 283 transects were cast at simple right angles along the entire coast at 200m interval. Uncertainties were quantified for the shorelines ranging from ±4.1m to ±5.5m. The results show that the Keta shoreline is a highly dynamic feature with average rate of erosion estimated to be about 2m/year ±0.44m. Individual rates along some transect reach as high as 16m/year near the estuary and on the east of the Keta Sea Defence site. The study con-firms earlier rates of erosion calculated for the area and also reveals the influence of the Keta Sea Defence Project on erosion along the eastern coast of Ghana. The research shows that shoreline change can be estimated using medium resolution sat-ellite imagery.
The quality of li fe of future generations: What kind of responsibilities do we have
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