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Twenty years ago, Fuvemeh was a thriving community of 2,500 people, supported by fishing and coconut plantations that are now completely underwater. But in the past two decades, climate change and industrial activity — such as sand mining and the construction of dams and deep-sea ports, which trap sediments and prevent them from reaching the coastline — have accelerated coastal erosion here. Gradually but inexorably, the ocean has swallowed up hundreds of feet of coastline, drowning the coconut plantations and eventually sweeping away houses. For a time, villagers retreated, rebuilding destroyed houses farther away from the advancing shoreline. But eventually they ran out of land to fall back on: The narrow peninsula is now less than 1,000 feet across, and high tides routinely wash over the entire sandy expanse. The last trees have been uprooted by the waves and lie dead along the shore, a grim omen of what awaits fishermen like Buabasah, who have seen their livelihoods destroyed in the span of a single generation.
And it’s not just small fishing villages that are being threatened. Low-lying areas in Lagos, the Nigerian megalopolis that is the seventh-fastest growing city in the world, as well as in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, whose annual economic output is around $3 billion, are at risk of inundation. Already, both cities are grappling with more frequent — and severe — flooding than in the past. Low-lying areas of Accra now flood every year during the rainy season. Last year, at least 25 people died as a result.
The southern parts of Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, lose up to 80 feet of beach every year, and coastal erosion has already damaged several hotels in Gambia and Senegal, as well as vital water treatment facilities in Cotonou, Benin’s economic hub. The situation is the same in neighboring Togo, where last year the coast retreated 118 feet in some places, according to local authorities. On the outskirts of the capital, Lomé, rows of destroyed buildings line the beach in the town of Agbavi.
For thousands of years, sand and gravel have been used in the construction of roads and buildings. Today, demand for sand and gravel continues to increase. Mining operators, in conjunction with cognizant resource agencies, must work to ensure that sand mining is conducted in a responsible manner. Excessive instream sand-and-gravel mining causes the degradation of rivers. Instream mining lowers the stream bottom, which may lead to bank erosion. Depletion of sand in the streambed and along coastal areas causes the deepening of rivers and estuaries, and the enlargement of river mouths and coastal inlets. It may also lead to saline-water intrusion from the nearby sea. The effect of mining is compounded by the effect of sea level rise. Any volume of sand exported from streambeds and coastal areas is a loss to the system. Excessive instream sand mining is a threat to bridges, river banks and nearby structures. Sand mining also affects the adjoining groundwater system and the uses that local people make of the river. Instream sand mining results in the destruction of aquatic and riparian habitat through large changes in the channel morphology. Impacts include bed degradation, bed coarsening, lowered water tables near the streambed, and channel instability. These physical impacts cause degradation of riparian and aquatic biota and may lead to the undermining of bridges and other structures. Continued extraction may also cause the entire streambed to degrade to the depth of excavation. Sand mining generates extra vehicle traffic, which negatively impairs the environment. Where access roads cross riparian areas, the local environment may be impacted.
originally posted by: deltaalphanovember
a reply to: lostbook
In 2006, the year I was there, I remember multiple occasions when Ikoyi and Victoria Island (some of the most expensive real estate in Africa) was subject to flooding. There are huge walls of concrete (tetrapods or Dolos) in many places where the flooding is worst.
originally posted by: CranialSponge
a reply to: lostbook
Yes, as the planet warms the seas will continue to expand, unfortunately.
There are plenty of lost civilizations and ancient structures all along the coastlines around the world, proof that expanding oceans wreak havoc on coastlines in the past and will continue to do so into the future... or at least until the next ice age kicks in.
But with the world population as it is now (and exponentially growing) the displacement of highly populated coastal areas is going to be a serious chaotic nightmare for all of us in the coming decades/centuries. Most of the world's highest populated cities are all located on oceanfront property. Not good.
As for how high the seas will get before the end of this interglacial ?
It'll never be anything more than a guessing game on our part due to the fact that there are far far too many factors involved to even attempt such a feat.
No matter how advanced in science we get, we cannot take into account the many curve balls mother nature (and the cosmos) constantly throws at us.
originally posted by: SeeReeS
I say there is nothing man can do. All things happen according to the Will of the cosmos. To believe we have the power to stand against that, is beyond arrogance. Even if we yet did possess that power, I would say that it's too late. Mother Earth is no force to be reckoned with. Have you ever tried to rake leaves in the wind?
originally posted by: stonerwilliam
It might be due to the fact we are pumping nearly 40 Billion barrels of oil out of the ground each year , i was watching a RT documentry showing the same thing happening in America in Lousiana with all the oil gone the ground is sinking and the maps do not reflect this