Houses on the shores of Liberia are collapsing at the edge of the sea due to coastal erosion arising from climate-related sea level rise and other factors.
Government records show that in the area of Buchanan, for example, about 250 people lost their homes in recent years, with the last several years seeing a loss of a full 10 meters from the area’s coastal beaches.
In other populated coastal areas, the Liberian Environment Agency measured at least three meters of land being lost annually, with 50 meters of shore having disappeared since 2005 from one town alone.
Some families, unable to afford new dwellings, are still living in the portion of their home that has not been taken over by the rising tide waters.
Josep Gari, regional environmental team leader for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), said that the global warming effects have been aggravated by unregulated sand mining and unsustainable harvesting of mangroves, which act as natural barriers from storm surges.
The Liberian government has announced a short-term plan to protect infrastructure but lacks resources for significant projects.
Meanwhile, experts express concern that densely populated communities throughout the shores of West Africa will soon be showing the similar effects of coastal erosion.
Our appreciation, Mr. Gari, United Nations Development Program and Liberia for your voiced concern over these distressing observations.
May we all move quickly toward lifestyles in harmony with nature to cool the planet and halt its demise. During an interview for the September 2009 edition of The House Magazine, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed global warming effects including coastal erosion, as well as the moral actions needed in response.