In Images: The Gambia Is Sinking Into The Ocean

Climate change is taking its toll in the Gambia. The rising sea is rapidly eating the Gambian coastline and is a serious threat for its capitol Banjul. Many hotels are about to be swallowed by the ocean. The first ones already fell victim to climate change.

Madiyana Hotel located on Jinack Island is swallowed by the ocean. (Picture by Kawsu Jammeh)

This hotel is already lost and swallowed by the ocean (Image: Kawsu Jammeh)


Desperately the locals try to protect their beach by digging in tires.

Jinack Island inside Niumi National Park continue to disappear due to unprecedented coastal erosion. Bijol Island is dwindling while Hallahein River mouth is also suffering from erosion.

Coastal erosion being addressed through temporary measures fronting Senegambia Hotel (Image:


Fort James Island which was a slave fort; the island has shrunk to one fifth its original size due the rising sea levels.


Coastal erosion, Cape Point, Gambia

Climate change is destroying the beautiful beaches. In spite of all the financing for climate change adaptation and building resilience, politicians and technocrats are turning blind eyes on such an urgent issue.

Impact of Sea Level Rise in Banjul, Gambia

Climate change is expected to causing a rise in sea level. Sea level rise will have a significant impact on coastal areas, especially coastal megacities such as Banjul, the Gambia.

Kairaba Beach Hotel

Coastal erosion in the Gambia is massive problem for future tourism.

This graphic shows the expected sea level rise in metres for various parts of the city of Banjul, and the impacts of sea level rise on the city, its suburbs and main roads and its nearby mangrove swamps, which serve as spawning grounds for fish.


Impact of Sea Level Rise in Banjul, Gambia (Image: GRID Arendal)

What can we do to stop this?

The ocean is rising rapidly and there is not much we can do about that. What the Gambia can do is protect its coastal area at all cost. Sand mining for example is big business in Gunjur. The sand mining company is breaking down the dunes and sells the sand for the construction of buildings.


Digging near the last standing dune of Gunjur is suicide

This bulldozer is literally between the last large standing dune (in the background) en the village Gunjur. Sand mining in this area mega destructive. These dunes are incredibly important to protect the country against the rising sea. The amounts of sand that are taken away daily are beyond anyones imagination.

As far as the eye can see, the dunes are turned into a desolate, dead piece of land. There are no trees anymore so the sand will not be hold anymore by their root systems. With the sand mining activities in these coastal area we are literally digging our own graves.


Green World Warriors

Special thanks to:  Kawsu Jammeh, Ahmed Manjang and Doug Hamlen


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