Beach Erosion Poses Problem to Fishers

By Kingsley Emmaneul

The rapid erosion of a section of the beach in Choiseul is of concern to residents, but fishers say it’s a cost they have to endure for now until a permanent solution is obtained to deal with a problem they experience at the fishing pond.

Their problem is being able to pass through the entrance of the pond where sand constantly accumulates causing extensive damage to their boats which get stuck whenever they get there.

Image of Beach Erosion (Photo: Kingsley Emmanuel)
Beach Erosion (Photo: Kingsley Emmanuel)

The fishers say that on numerous occasions they are forced to get out of their boats and push it through the murky waters to get into the pond, which was constructed about 10 years ago, as part of the fisheries complex.

And although sand mining no longer takes place on that section of the beach which has now lost its beauty, the de-silting work which is taking place at the fishing pond on a daily basis to keep its entrance clear, is impacting on the beach.

The affected beach, located in the village of Choiseul, is in a terrible state and is now an eyesore in the community. Large rocks are now exposed on the beach, which is eroding at such a rapid rate that it is threatening the safety of persons living along a section of the road in the village.

Both administrations have been accused of doing nothing to address the problem, which they have been constantly called upon to do by residents.

Romanus “Reby” Alcee, a resident of the community, who recently has been very vocal about the problem, recalled that a few years ago, he used to go to the beach regularly because of its beauty.

“I always used to go on the beach to relax and exercise. It was the place I always used to train…,” he told this reporter in an interview.

He said a friend of his who resides in America, and usually goes to the beach whenever he visits the island, had expressed surprised by its rapid deterioration when he recently visited the island.

“My friend was almost in tears when he saw the state of the beach where he once enjoyed visiting,” Alcee added.

According to him, he has spoken to several persons in authority, including the chairman of the Choiseul/ Saltibus Constitution Council, Brian Charles to try to address the problem, but to no avail.

“It’s heartbreaking… No one seems concerned about the condition of our beach,” Alcee lamented.

He said with the damaging effects of climate change, if the problem is not given immediate attention the situation can turn out to be a disaster.

Alcee said he is not satisfied with the manner the de-silting is done at the pond. According to him it is done in a way just to facilitate the creation of a job for the person doing the de-silting.

He is now calling on the district representative of the community, Bradley Felix to intervene into the matter.

Commenting on the situation, chairman of the Choiseul/Saltibus Constituency Council, Brian Charles, said it’s over five years since he has been expressing concern about the degradation of the beach, but at that time no one seemed to care about its condition.

He added that it’s strange that all of a sudden people seem concerned about the condition of the beach.

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