Climate Change: Glefe residents devastated by sea erosion, detail their struggles

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Thu, 8 Jun 2023 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Sea level rise, a consequential global phenomenon linked to climate change, is inflicting significant harm on the coastal communities of Ghana. The adverse effects include heightened coastal erosion, resulting in the loss of livelihoods, settlements, and property for numerous individuals.

Residents surrounding Panbros, Glefe and Gbegbeyise communities along the Dansoman Coastline are among the many experiencing the harsh effects of sea erosion caused by climate change.

GhanaWeb’s interactions with some residents mentioned in the areas indicated that, over 100 homes have been destroyed, schools, churches and, six hotel and beach resorts had to close down due to sea erosion.

Nii Commey, a former professional football and the owner of the Overmas 1 Beach resort, disclosed to GhanaWeb how he spent over GHS 600,000 on relocating and renovating his resort due to sea erosion caused by climate.

“I have spent GHS600,000 on this resort. It even exceeds that amount. I bought stones. I brought excavators, pill loaders ,I have bought lots of things, I brought lots of machine to help salvage the situation. I have videos there,” Nii Commey lamented.

He added, “about five kilometres away used to be a sitting lounge and play ground for visitors who came here. They played football and danced to music, but today the sea has taken over.”

His case isn’t different from Reuben Akakpo, one of the residents who are in constant fear for their lives and property, after relocating three times, Reuben Akakpo has been rendered homeless by the sea.

“This used to be my home (pointing to the foundation of a collapsed building), and that also was someone’s house too. The water has broken it all down. The sea conquer everything. Now just a lane of houses separate the sea from the main road right behind us,” Reuben Akakpo explained the dire effects of sea erosion on coastal dwellers along the Dansoman coastline.

Invest in research and case specific solutions

To help manage sea erosion and its impact on coastal dwellers, Dr Philip Jayson-Quashigah, a research fellow at the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies at the University of Ghana called on the government to invest in research and provide case-specific solutions.

“The thing about sea or coastal erosion is that we cannot have a generic solution for every coastline and area affected. All affected communities, people and what have you present their unique features and challenges. So to say we are building sea defense in all affected areas can be dangerous and even more deteriorating to the situation as in the case of Dansoman, where the construction of sea defense in one part of the area is intensifying coastal erosion at another side in the same area,” Dr Jayson-Quashigah explained.

He added, “What I would advise is that the government should invest more into researching in all the cases and challenges present and produce specific solutions to all these cases. Because some cases of sea erosion would require the construction of artificial sea defense projects while some would require that we enhance the sea to recuperate all lost sediments naturally.”

Avoid activities that alter sea sedimentation to manage sea erosion

Dr Jayson-Quashigah cautioned residents against activities such as sand-winning and other activities that alter the sediments of the sea.

He said, “Although primarily sea erosion is caused by climate change, human activities contribute enormously to it. Activities such as sand winning, dumping of refuse into the sea, building in water spaces along the coast all can intensify sea erosion. So while the government is doing its part, coastal dwellers must also play their own role and ensure that they avoid these practices that cause sea erosion.”

This report is produced in fulfilment of the UNESCO & CIJ London Climate Change in News Media project facilitated by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development.

You can also watch some climate change interviews done by GhanaWeb below:

Writer: Elliot Nuertey

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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