Friday, January 25, 2008

Benin's Cotonou - a city slowly swallowed by waves

Agence France-Presse runs a heartbreaking story from Benin about the impact of sea level rise on people's daily lives. A regional plan is underway to build dikes. Numerous haphazardly planned dikes actually worsen the problem of erosion: ... Huge breakers constantly battering Benin's coast -- and the rest of the shoreline on the Gulf of Guinea -- are starting to take their toll. Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Nigeria are also fighting to stop the sea from gulping up chunks of land.

In tiny Benin, the erosion on its narrow stretch of coastline was first recorded a century ago. The phenomenon has been exacerbated by the rise in seawater levels, attributed to global warming, and by massive construction projects such as the Nangbeto dam in Benin and the Akossombo dam in Ghana, as well as the development of deep-water ports at Cotonou and Lome, according to experts....

Map of Benin from the U.S. State Department's World Factbook

No comments: