Unregulated sand mining threatens African coasts-UNEP

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Several African beaches are now threatened with extinction according to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

In Morocco, the coastline is now threatened with extinction by the so-called sand mafia. On Monica beach, in the coastal town of West Mohammedia, AFP reports that only one sand dune has escaped the clutches of insatiable construction contractors in the northern African country.

It is not only Monica beach, but other neighbouring beaches are also affected by the exploitation of the sand mafia in a quest to urbanize the coast.

It is estimated that at least 55.07% of the sand sold in the Moroccan national market comes from illegal channels, more than half of which is mainly used in the construction sector.

To deal with this scourge, in countries such as Senegal, the government has promised to build a 3.5 km seawall, but this is not a reliable long-term solution.

In the case of Morocco, environmentalists denounce impunity and an unarmed parliament, even in the face of a new law on sand extraction.

Other countries such as landlocked Uganda have put in place a sand extraction policy to preserve the country’s ecosystem