Causes and Effects of Coastal Sand Mining in Ghana



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.