Global Sand Crisis

By: Alexia Herrera

We are experiencing a sand crisis around the world today. Sand is used to create glass, jewelry, bricks, concrete, roads, and buildings therefore, sand mines are essential and are creating a crisis in sand shortage. As cities get bigger, and declines. When we think about places like Egypt, Arab Emirates, or Las Vegas, we assume that sand is infinite. But,the shortage in sand and the shift of the terrains show us otherwise.

BBC found that there is a high demand for sand and it is harming the livelihoods of the ecosystem, and the people in Tiwi, Kenya. According to BBC, one farmer was killed in efforts to protect the community from the theft of sand by illegal sand harvester.

Along with the effect of livelihood, the effect on the environment can be seen through satellites on Google Timelapse. The changes began in 2010 and by 2016, we see fully built sand mine in Tiwi, Kenya. The time lapse also shows the rise of sand along the shoreline thus pushing the water back. The time lapse demonstrates the strips of water like rivers, and lakes diminishing in the town thus impacting water retention for the locals.

Tiwi, Kenya is not the only place that is experiencing a sand crisis. The google pro tour shows that Tiwi is not the only place affected by the sand mines. The Conversation finds that Poyang Lake sand mine is extracted for Shanghai, China. Marina California, as seen in Google Pro, is experience a surge of protest against the sand mining because they are changing the terrains in the area. India and Cambodia is also showing a change in terrain caused by the sand shortage.