W/R: Anlo beach residents call for immediate relocation from tidal wave

Inhabitants of Anlo beach in the Shama District of the Western Region want urgent intervention that would ensure their relocation to a safer place. The community of over 3,000 fisher folk has been heavily exposed to sea level rise, which had swallowed more than half of their asserts and continue to wreak havoc on them. Anlo beach is a settler fishing community north-west of Shama in the Western Region. It is located at the estuary of the Pra River and surrounded by the sea, river and large swampy areas. The over 3,000 inhabitants are mainly fisher folk from the Volta Region who have settled there for nearly 70 years. However, worsening climatic conditions coupled with uncontrolled human activities, have resulted in severe sea level rise along with strong tidal waves that continue to hit the community. At least more than half of the community has been taken over within the last eight or more years. Houses, fishing gears, economic trees and other personal effects are lost each year to the sea. One of the worse disasters was in July this year, which washed away yet many asserts. A fish monger, Rose Agbenyo, was heavily affected. She tells us she lost everything she had including her working capital. According to rose, her house and every belonging were washed away during the last disaster. She is now putting up with a relative with all the inconvenience one can think off. Rose has only one wish – an intervention that would see them relocateed to a safer place where the beach would no longer be a nightmare. The devastating impact of the sea level rise was still visible on Thursday, exposing the vulnerability of the people. Virtually, every respondent to participants of a training programme on climate change adaptation and mitigation in coastal areas of Ghana, pushed for a relocation strategy as the ultimate solution. The Chief Linguist to the Anlo Beach community chief, Kennedy Attipoe, summed up the wish of the people in just few words: “Relocation is key but there is the need for state intervention in the area of infrastructure which could be paid for by the people”. On his part, teacher and Council of Elders secretary for anlo beach, Noble King Dogbatsey, nothing can stop them from moving to high land provided the owners are willing to donate it. He insisted the current community will remain the fishing hub for the inhabitants and suggested a sea defence even whilst they relocate to serve the purpose. The training was organized by the Centre for Coastal Management, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Cape Coast, for selected journalists towards enhancing effective reportage on climate change and coastal related issues. A retired lecturer and Professor of Zoology with specialization in marine and aquaculture, Professor John Blay, who had done extensive study in Anlo beach and was sad over what is happening to the community. He recalled the large stretch of beautiful sandy beach away from the community and which extends very far and almost joining Shama, the district capital. Professor John Blay blamed the development partially on sand winning activities and Professor John Blay, other ecological destructive activities and warned other communities along the beaches to be wary of them. A parcel of land previously promised the community is now the target for negotiation but external intervention is key in seeing their dream come true.

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By Peter Quao Adattor|3news.com|Ghana ]]>