Seaweed Threatens Freetown’s Beautiful Beaches
For the past 2 weeks, Lumley Beach and other coastline beaches on Freetown’s Peninsular have been covered by a mysterious seaweed that has kept many locals and expats indefinitely off the sand. Last Wednesday, I went to the beach to see for myself. The end of the beach closest to Aberdeen is littered with an assortment of plastic bottles, debris, and other rubbish that has now mixed in with the greenish brown seaweed. No one seems to remember a time when so much seaweed covered the sand nor do they understand what has caused it. Earlier that morning, the President visited what is now being called an environmental disaster with members of Cabinet, and representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA announced that the seaweed is not toxic but called for assistance from the international community to trace its causes. There were rumors circulating on the radio and elsewhere that the seaweed attack was as a result of dredging being done by African Minerals at Pepel, Port Loko and Bombali Districts in the north. However, AML made a release today denying any connection between their operations and the seaweed. Unfortunately, there is no evidence either way to support their claims in the press release nor confirm the media claims that they are responsible. In the meantime, as with everything in Sierra Leone we are hoping that we can wish the seaweed with a dash of luck, shovels, and wheelbarrows.