Ghana, home to about 32 million people, has a quarter of its population living along the Atlantic Ocean. Villages along the eastern and western coastlines are experiencing devastating effects of coastal erosion. Due to climate change factors like global warming, over 30 percent of coastal land has been lost to the Atlantic Ocean encroaching into homes, schools, coconut plantations, fishing villages, resort areas, and UNESCO World heritage sites.
The situation is rapidly worsening. Homes within some of the fishing villages are now barren islands where pigs squatter and roam just steps away from the ocean shore. More than 300 dwellers in these villages have been displaced, sometimes forced to relocate in the middle of the night as the ocean enters their homes.
The village of Fuvemeh has totally emerged into the water. As temperatures rise and ice melts from the Northern Pole, Ghana’s Atlantic Coast is becoming warmer and saltier—compromising the quality of sellable fish. Small beach resorts in these areas have less recreational land to offer visitors as the sea moves closer inland.
Scientists indicate that coastlines are eroding about two meters a year. They say coastal erosion is a chronic issue in Ghana with even the famed Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum attraction in downtown Accra being endangered. This and other sites may be swallowed by the sea within the next century or less.
In this project, Erica Ayisi will explore the livelihood of residents living along sea eroding villages. She will also answer questions: Why is coastal erosion happening at such an alarming rate? Why are the fisherman’s mangrove cultivation attempts to stop the erosion no longer working? What is the government doing to help solve this problem? How is UNESCO addressing the endangerment of Ghana’s World Heritage sites along the
seashore from eroding into the sea?