By Abdul Aziz Savage

Illegal sand mining rampant at Mahera Beach, Lungi, Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom in Port Loko District.

The Beach Community in Lungi is presently facing the worst case scenario over the years due to illegal mining activities.

 Lungi, Sierra Leone: Mahera Beach, once a serene coastal haven, now faces a plundering enemy – illegal sand mining. This rampant activity threatens not just the beauty of the beach but also the lives and livelihoods of the community.

Ibrahim Barrie, Station Manager of Sea Coach Express, paints a dire picture. “Our business is on the brink of disaster,” he says, echoing the frustrations of many. The once pristine expanse is now scarred by open pits, swallowing the sand that protected the coast and supported local wildlife.

The consequences are far-reaching. Erosion gnaws at the shoreline, jeopardizing homes and infrastructure. Fisheries, vital for income, suffer as aquatic life dwindles in the disturbed waters. Tourism, which thrived on the scenic beauty, fades away like footprints in the stolen sand.

Alpha Conteh, the Youth Chairman, voices the community’s desperation. “Our homes are at stake,” he cries, “Our families are panic-stricken.” The inaction of authorities fuels their anger. Calls to the Chairman of Tipper Ground remain unanswered, and promises from the MP offer little solace in the face of immediate peril.

This isn’t just a local disaster; it’s a symptom of a global problem. The $70 billion sand mining industry often operates in the shadows, leaving devastation in its wake. But Mahera Beach isn’t a footnote in a statistic – it’s a community fighting for its survival.

Their story demands attention. It’s a call to action, not just for Lungi authorities but for all who value fragile ecosystems and the communities that depend on them. Mahera Beach needs more than promises; it needs swift and decisive action to combat the pirates plundering its paradise.

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