, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 185–196 | Cite as

Coastal environmental injustice in Ghana: the activities of coastal sediment miners in the Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree area

  • Fredrick Ekow Jonah
  • Kofi Adu-BoahenEmail author


Human impact has increased stunningly during the last century with coastal problems being one manifestation of environmental injustice with ecological, economic, and social dimensions on coastal resources. The study sought to assess the residents’ perception of coastline changes in the milieu of the rampant sand mining activities along the Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree coastline of Ghana. The study employed the purposive sampling technique: 100 respondents were engaged from the selected study areas through simple random sampling method. Interviews, Focus group discussions, observations and questionnaire were the main instruments used. The study revealed that beach sand mining is widespread across the Elmina-Cape Coast-Moree coastline and takes place in several forms, with the magnitude of sand taken from the beach being dependent on the transportation medium and the purpose to which sand is to be put. It is considered that the 1995 National Environmental Policy has become outdated and the sections dedicated to the coastal zone are irrelevant due to new research data and trends in administration. The time is right for a concerted national policy dedicated to only the coastal zone that takes into consideration the multiplicity of use of the zone and adopts an integrated management approach.


Erosion Environmental injustice Sand mining Degradation Ghana 


  1. Adeola, F. O. (2001). Environmental injustice and human rights abuse: The states, MNCs, and repression of minority groups in the world system. Human Ecology Review, 8(1), 39–59.Google Scholar
  2. Adjei Mensah, C., Biney, S. O., & Dauda, S. (2013). Urban environmental injustice in Ghana: The activities of small-scale palm oil producers in the Ahanta West District. International Journal of Development and Sustainability, 2(3), 1723–1743.Google Scholar
  3. Jonah F.E., Adjei-Boateng, D., Mensah, A.E., Agbo, N.W., & Edziyie, R.E. (2014). Assessment of sand and stone mining along the Coastline of Cape Coast, Ghana. Unpublished.Google Scholar
  4. Agyeman, J., Bullard, R. D., & Evans, B. (2003). Just sustainabilities: Development in an unequal world. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  5. Almaguer, T. (1994). Racial fault lines: The historical origins of white supremacy in California. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. Anderson, K. (1987). The idea of Chinatown: The power of place and institutional practice in the making of a racial category. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 77(4), 580–598.Google Scholar
  7. Anderton, D., Anderson, A., Oakes, J., & Fraser, M. (1994). Environmental equity: The demographics of dumping. Demography, 31(2), 229–248.Google Scholar
  8. Biney, C.A., Roberts, G. Amuzu, A.T. & Bannerman, R.R. (1993). Coastal zone management in Accra, Ghana, Coastlines of Western Africa. Proceedings of the 8th Symposium on Coastal and Ocean Management, July 19–23 1993, New Orleans, Louisiana, 114–28.Google Scholar
  9. Boateng, I. (2006). Shoreline Management Planning: Can It Benefit Ghana? A Case Study of UK SMPs and Their Potential Relevance in Ghana. Promoting Land Administration and Good Governance, 5th FIG Regional Conference Accra, Ghana, March 8–11, 2006.Google Scholar
  10. Boateng, I. (2012). An application of GIS and coastal geomorphology for large scale assessment of coastal erosion and management: a case study of Ghana. Journal of Coastal Conservation; Planning and Management. doi: 10.1007/s11852-012-0209-0.
  11. Bolin, B., Grineski, S., & Collins, T. (2005). The geography of despair; environmental racism and the making of South phoenix, Arizona, USA. Human Ecology Review, 12(2), 156.Google Scholar
  12. Brulle, R. J., & Pellow, D. N. (2006). Environmental justice: Human health and environmental inequalities. Annual Review of Public Health, 27, 103–124. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pubhealth.27.021405.102124.
  13. Bryant, B. (1995). Introduction. In B. Bryant (Ed.), Environmental justice: Issues, policies, and solutions (pp. 5–6). Washington D C: Island Press.Google Scholar
  14. Carter, R. (1991). Near-future sea level impacts on coastal dune landscapes. Landscape Ecology, 6(1/2), 29–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cutter, S. L. (1995). Race, class and environmental justice. Progress in Human Geography, 19(1), 111–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (1991). Ghana environmental action plan (Vol. 1). Accra: EPC.Google Scholar
  17. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2009). Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 2000 Facts and Fig.s. EPA/530-R-02-001. June 2002.
  18. Fuller, R. A., & Gaston, K. J. (2009). The scaling of green space coverage in European cities. Biology Letters, 5(3), 352–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ghana Statistical Service. (2012). 2010 population and housing census: Summary report of final results. Accra: Ghana Statistical Service.Google Scholar
  20. Jonah, F.E. (2014). Coastal Erosion in Ghana; the case of Elmina-Cape Coast-Moree area. A thesis submitted to the Department of Fisheries and Watershed Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Unpublished.Google Scholar
  21. Mann, C. J. (2003). Observational research methods, research design II: Cohort, cross sectional and case-control studies. Emergency Medical Journal, 20(1), 54–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mensah, J. V. (1997). Causes and effects of coastal sand mining in Ghana. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 18(1), 69–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ministry of Environment Science and Technology. (2014). National environmental policy. Ministry of Environment Science and Technology, Accra, Ghana.Google Scholar
  24. Olsen, C. & George, D.M. (2004). Cross-sectional study design and data Analysis, Accessed 23 June 2013.
  25. Ozhan, E. (2002). Coastal erosion management in the mediterranean: An overview. Ankara: Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre.Google Scholar
  26. Pilkey, O.H., Neal, W.J., & Bush, D.M. (2004). Coastal erosion. In: Encyclopedia of life support systems (EOLSS), developed under the auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford, UK, [].
  27. Pulido, L. (2000). Rethinking environmental racism: White privilege and urban development in Southern California. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 90(1), 12–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sanjaume, E., & Pardo-Pascual, J.E. (2005). Erosion by human impact on the Valencian coastline (E of Spain). Journal of Coastal Research, SI 49 (Proceedings of the 2nd Meeting in Marine Sciences), 76–82. Valencia–Spain, ISSN 0749-0208.Google Scholar
  29. Schlosberg, D. (2007). Defining environmental justice: Theories, movements and nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Syvitski, J. P. M., Vorosmarty, C. J., Kettner, A. J., & Green, P. (2005). Impact of humans on the flux of terrestrial sediment to the global coastal ocean. Science, 308(5720), 376–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. The National Environmental Policy. (2014). Ministry of Environment Science and Technology, Accra, Ghana.Google Scholar
  32. United Church Of Christ Commission For Racial Justice. (1987). Toxic wastes and race in the United States. New York: United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice.Google Scholar
  33. Wolf, J. (2009). Coastal Flooding—Impacts of coupled wave-surge-tide models. Liverpool: Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Fisheries and Aquatic SciencesUniversity of Cape CoastCape CoastGhana
  2. 2.University of EducationWinnebaGhana

Personalised recommendations