Sea erosion steadily wiping out 5 Keta communities

Five communities in the Keta municipality in the Volta Region are under threat of being wiped out by sea erosion.

Kporkporgbor, Fuveme, Dzita, Havedzi and Xorvi face extinction if nothing is done to curtail the advancing tidal waves that are shrinking land and causing destruction in those communities.

The worst hit among the five is Kporkporgbor, a fishing community which has been consumed by the sea. What remains of a community that two years ago had 50 houses and two churches is one house on a small land.

Coastal communities in the Keta municipality, just like other coastal communities in the country, have been at the receiving end of tidal waves which have continually wreaked havoc on the communities, submerging buildings and trees and causing damage to property running into millions of cedis.

Kporkporgbor’s more-than-200 population has been reduced to just two — the watchman, the caretaker of the house whose owner does not expect to live in the community beyond the Easter holidays because of the constant pounding of the shore by tidal waves.

Already, the boys’ quarters of the three-bedroom house has been washed away by the sea.

Sandwiched between the sea and the Volta River, Kporkporgbor is about 25-minutes by motorised canoe from Anyanui, also in the municipality.

Communities under threat
At Fuveme, which is a peninsula, the destruction is severe. The distance from the shore to the community is less than 30 metres.

Lying in the ruins of this small coastal town once described as a vibrant fishing post are several houses reduced now to broken walls.

The fishing community of about 1,500 people used to have a coconut plantation but the sea has destroyed all the trees.

Diversion of pressure
One of the victims of the devastation in the community is a former Deputy Chief Executive of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Frank Kofigah, who lost a five-bedroom house.

‘This place is a porous area. There are no rocks anywhere. The river is eroding our land from one side and the sea from the other.

Many residents, including Mr Kofigah, believe that the construction of the Ada Sea defence wall had endangered their community.

‘All that is happening here is because the sand bars which protected the whole area have been washed away. The government has attempted to solve the problem in Ada but the pressure of the tidal waves has been diverted towards here after the construction of the Ada sea defence. One place was destroyed to fix another,’ Mr Kofigah, who is an expert in coastal geomorphology, said.

 ’They did not foresee that situation.  What will happen eventually if no intervention comes is that the sea will erode into the lagoon and a lot of settlement around the Keta Lagoon will vanish,’ he added.

No sea defence at Dzita 
One of the many communities reported to have benefited from the third phase of the sea defence project in the municipality is Dzita, but a tour of the shoreline revealed that the project is yet to reach there.

In fact, the only basic school in the community has lost three classrooms to the sea and the Assembly Member for the area, Mr Samuel Brass Dedzo, was angered by the fact that almost all official communication on the sea defence project referred to the community as being a beneficiary of the project when the sea was wreaking havoc.

‘Whoever is briefing the Works and Housing Minister is not telling him the truth. We are at risk of losing everything but everything you read about the sea defence project indicates that we don’t have a problem here. It is not true,’ he said.

Good news
At Xorvi, which has also been hit hard, with several lines of broken walls on its shores, the chief, Torgbui Edido II, told the Daily Graphic that indications were that construction work would start soon.

Torgbui Edido, who said he had met with Messrs Amandi Holding Limited,the construction company expected to execute the project, however, could not give the exact date the project would start.

He was, however, full of joy that the project would save the shrinking community.

When contacted, the Presiding Member of the Keta Municipal Assembly, Mr Richard Kwame Sefe, said the assembly was aware of the disturbing impact of coastal erosion in the municipality but was financially handicapped to act.

He said as a temporary measure, the assembly was considering the relocation of residents of Fuveme to Agorkedzi but that had not been finalised.

‘The government has secured funds for the construction of a sea defence wall from Havedzi to Blekusu. It is our hope that by the time that is completed, the other communities could be helped because if care is not taken, the whole of Fuveme may also go,’ he said.

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