Yes, Sand winning at Beaches contributes to Tidal Waves – Ag. Director Hydrological Services
“Sand winning is a cause of major erosion. We have waves impacting on the beaches so the wave energy is transferred onto the beaches. If sand winning takes place the beaches get deprived of sand and the waves move closely into the community.
The Acting Director of the Hydrological Services Department (HSD) of the Ministry of Works and Housing, Hubert Osei Owusu-Ansah, has stated that indeed, sand winning activities at the beaches is a major contributing factor to the worsening situation at the beaches leading to wave action that has caused havoc in some parts of the country.
He said the impact of climate change and sea level rise is a major issue now affecting communities and that his department has had cause to caution people against the act due to the possible effects it is likely to have.
“Sand winning is a cause of major erosion. We have waves impacting on the beaches so the wave energy is transferred onto the beaches. If sand winning takes place the beaches get deprived of sand and the waves move closely into the community. That is how tidal waves occur,” he stated
Mr Osei Owusu Ansah made this comment when appeared as a guest on Joy FM’s weekly political analysis programme – Newsfile hosted by Sampson Lardy Anyenini on Saturday.
He said there are two main causes of tidal waves – Natural causes which is as a result of the Wave Action or strong waves impacting the beaches to cause coastal erosion, and Man-made cause which such as sand winning at the beaches.
His comments go to support the recent view statement by the Deputy Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for the Efutu Constituency, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, that the recent tidal waves that has destroyed houses and caused the relocation of over 4000 people at three communities in Volta Region could partly be blamed on sand winning activities in that area.
Mr Owusu Osei-Ansah said “When the beaches are deprived of the sand it weakens the surface and the wave is able to move in to destroy houses and move into town.”
He said in the cause constructing sea defense wall, the department has had to deal with issues of sand winning at the beaches and it has always been a worry.
A former lecturer at the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, Dr. Philip Neri Quashigah who claimed on the program that he knew the terrain in Keta so well because he has lived there before also supported the claim that though he cannot tell of the magnitude of the impact he can confirm that sand winning activities go on in that stretch.
“Sand winning removes the protection that the land gets and this increases the vulnerability. That is why we must put a stop to it,” he stated.
He said per the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sand winning activities at the beaches are illegal and must not be encouraged.
For solutions, all panelist on the show agreed that there must be education to tell the people that the act of sand winning at the beaches has negative effects. They also call for the enforcement of the relative laws as well as the involvement of community leaders in the education drive.
By Jeorge Wilson Kingson