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HomeAfricaWest Africa's Coastline

West Africa’s Coastline

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Nigeria, The Gambia, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Cameroon are among the countries which make up the scenic West African coastline. The coastline, which stretches to Sierra Leone offers an enormous potential for tourism activities. However, the coastline is faced with a looming environmental disaster which could see it wiped out of the map by the end of the century, according to marine geologists.

Swathes of West Africa’s coastline extending from the orange dunes in Mauritania to the dense tropical forests in Cameroon will be underwater by 2099, according to a report conducted in 2008. This will be as a result of direct consequence of climate change. Gambian capital Banjul and Nigeria’s economic capital Lagos are among the cities which will be worst hit. Experts have pinpointed the coast of Guinea to cease to exist by the end of the century as a result of the rising sea levels and the increasingly violent tropical storms, which can create sea surges up to three metres (10 feet) high. In August 2007 a storm 5,000 kilometres off the coast of Lagos destroyed protective beach barriers, highlighting the vulnerability of the entire African west coast. Climate change, which has led to greenhouse emissions and in turn global warming, has led to the melting of the Greenland ice cap and hence exposed the coastline to the looming disaster, experts say.

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