Elmina Castle, Central Region of Ghana. This picture shows the Atlantic coast and Elmina Castle in Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast. The castle was built by the Portuguese from 1482 to 1486, originally as São Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mine), and is currently located in present-day Elmina town. The Dutch seized control of the castle from the Portuguese in 1637, and in 1872, it became a possession of the British Empire. It is the oldest European structure in existence in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, it is a popular historical and tourist site that is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. There has been a high rush for gold along the Elmina beach in recent times by small scale miners, which has the potential to impact the coastal environment and the fishing industry. The uncontrolled and haphazard manner of collecting beach sand has the tendency to render the beach highly vulnerable to erosion. This is a worrying situation since the sea level is rising currently over 2 mm/year in Ghana. Destruction of the beach will also open up the coastal area to intrusion by waves and flooding from storm surges, which could affect many settlements within the adjacent lands. In response, the government is spending a significant amount of resources to build up sea defense structures along the shoreline in various parts of the country. (Photograph taken in October 2012 by Dr. Frank van der Meulen, UNESCO IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education, and Deltares, Delft, The Netherlands, and by Prof. Kwasi Appeaning Addo, Institute of Environment and Sanitation Studies, University of Ghana.)

©Coastal Education and Research Foundation, Inc. 2022
"Elmina Castle, Central Region of Ghana," Journal of Coastal Research 38(5), i, (1 September 2022). https://doi.org/10.2112/0749-0208-38.5.i
Published: 1 September 2022
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