Sea Erosion Endangers Fishing Community in Buchanan

BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – Residents of Fanti Town in Buchanan have threatened not to vote in the October 10, 2017, elections should their government fail to find a solution to prevent sea erosion in their community.

Several residents of the Ghanaian fishing community, including Liberian and Ghanaian fishermen, told The Bush Chicken that their properties are being washed away daily by sea erosion.

According to them the last erosion swept away more than five houses, leaving several people homeless.

Emanuel Jackson, a Liberian fisherman, said residents of the community are living in fear and are calling on the government to find a solution to the situation.

“We can’t sleep in peace because we are afraid of the erosion,” Jackson said. “We had good, good buildings here but the sea carried all.”

A woman who only identified herself as Ma Etta blamed the president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and said she would not vote if nothing is done to prevent the erosion.

“We will not vote because the reason we voted for her was for her to do something about this sea erosion,” Etta said. “But since we put her there, the sea continued to carry our houses.”

A coastal defense project which was being implemented by the Ministries of Public Works, and Lands Mines and Energy in Buchanan, is currently at the standstill.

An erosion mitigation project constructed with Geomat beneath the ground and large rocks on the sea shore. Photo: Eric Opa Doue

The project has only covered one side of the affected areas known as Korkorwein/Big Fanti Town, leaving out Small Fanti Town, which is much closer to the Port of Buchanan.

The project, funded by Global Environment Facility, and managed by UNDP, is constructed with erosion control material, known as Geomat, beneath the ground. On the surface, large rocks line the sea shore to stop the ocean from destroying properties.

There is no information on when the remaining portion will be done but residents of the community told The Bush Chicken that the erosion poses a threat and they are calling on the government for quick intervention.

Sampson Davis contributed to this article. Featured photo by Eric Doue

Eric Doue

Eric Opa Doue is a co-founder of Echo Radio Station, which does a series of programs in Bassa, Kru, and simple Liberian English. Under his leadership, Echo Radio was selected as one of the Moody Radio global partners for training opportunities in 2013 and 2014. Eric was one of a handful of reporters who received training from Internews in 2015 on humanitarian reporting during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. He holds a diploma in Journalism, from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

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