Cabo Verde

What do houses, streets, telephones and microchips have in common? They all contain processed sand. Now African countries are raising the alarm because of their disappearing beaches.

The islands of Cape Verde are located 600 km (373 miles) from the coast of West Africa. The country is regarded as one of the safest in Africa but every third person is unemployed. Stealing sand – a commodity which is constantly needed around the world – is a fast way of earning money. However, the consequences of excessive sand mining are devastating. On the beaches where tortoises once buried their eggs, there is now only dirt and stones. No sand holds back the tides, salt water flows unhindered inland, ruining crops, plants and homes.


The debt in 2015 reached 27.12% of Cameroon GDP, a 0.94 percentage point rise from 2014, when it was 26.18% of GDP.

In the north, deforestation has been blamed for increasing soil erosion, desertification, and reduced quality of pastureland. Overhunting and overfishing is a problem elsewhere in Cameroon. … Petroleum is a key export for Cameroon. To date, oil production has had a limited impact on the country’s environment.