“Just how serious are the authorities in this country? Here we go celebrat[ing] that Diani has been voted among the top beaches in the world, and there the same beaches face total destruction because of the greed of a few who are stealing our sand,” ranted a clearly enraged source from the south coast of Mombasa when passing additional information that the notorious dredger was back in action after dark over the past days.
Prompt out of the blocks, once again the South Coast Residents Association (SCRA), which brings together individuals as well as businesses, was alerting their members to be on the lookout for renewed dredging at night off the beaches of Mwisho Ya Lami where during the past few nights ongoing dredging could be heard, and the navigation lights of the vessels seen not far behind the reef.
Excerpts of mails received from and to the SCRA Chairperson (with due permission to reproduce them here) go to show just how destructive the impact of sucking the sand from the ocean floor just outside the reef is on the beaches, besides the killer effect it has on marine life.
A long-time Diani resident, who while no longer in the frontline of tourism operations, was unequivocally saying that unless measures are taken to halt dredging along the south coast beaches once and for all, one of Kenya’s greatest tourism resources could be damaged beyond repair and turn from a crowd puller and award winner in the space of a few months into a marine desert landscape.