Atlantic Rising logo HomeExpeditionSearchabout usHot TopicsGalleryContact Us

Coastal Erosion - Football saves a Ghanian Beach classroom resources



Through the video students are introduced to the town of Keta and the problems associated with rapid coastal erosion. They are shown some of the sea defence measures used to deal with the problem and meet an unusual football team that exists to finance community development projects.

Key Issues

- The causes of coastal erosion (human and physical).
- The impacts and dangers of coastal erosion in LEDCs (to health, housing and the economy).
- Coastal defence methods.
- Community projects vs the role of the government.
- Coastal erosion and climate change/sea level rise.


The town of Keta is located on a sandbar peninsular behind which is the Keta Lagoon. The sandbar is being rapidly eroded (rate of 2-7m3/year) by the sea. If the sandbar is breached the changes in salinity and water flow could have significant impacts for agriculture, fishing and commerce not to mention an important wildlife habitat. The Keta Sea Defence project involved four phases and includes the re-construction of a road lost to erosion, defences (groynes) to limit future erosion, flooding control measures and land reclamation from the lagoon. The project cost an estimated $85 million in total. Keta Sandlanders are a local football team formed in part to help fund community projects to help maintain and benefit from the protected coastline. The Sandlanders have played a prominent role in local development projects such as in the creation of a new beach resort at the newly reclaimed Emancipation Beach.


Starter Activities

  Coastal dominoes – match key coastal terms (and pictures) to their definitions.
  Listen to what these children from Ghana say about their local environment. Do you agree?




Enquiry Questions

 - Should a LEDC such as Ghana spend US$85 million on a sea defence project like this? Use worksheet to think about other means of sea defences.
 - If the English coast was eroding at the same rate as Keta, what would be at risk in the next 10 years (a particular case study could be used as a reference point)?
 - If the sandbar was breached by the sea, what would the effect be on the local environment and economy?

Lesson Activities

The video throws up a number of different issues and could be incorporated into a variety of main lesson activities. Here are a few examples:

  • What are the physical processes that are threatening Keta and its residents? Explain coastal erosion processes, types of waves and/or longshore drift (see diagram 4 in the diagram pack). These could be labelled on a satellite photo or map of Keta.
  • Annotate an image of Keta highlighting the four parts of the sea defence project and explaining why each one benefits the town.
  • Look at other beaches with higher/lower erosion rates. Ask students to explain why each beach might erode faster or slower than Keta (consider wave type/fetch/natural protection/dunes/sea defences etc)
  • Get the students to create their own imaginary community group like Keta Sandlanders. Write a short piece explaining what would it be called, what would it come together around (e.g. football) and what community needs would it address?


© 2009-2011 Atlantic Rising | website made by pfd
UK Charity No.1129583
  Royal Georgahpical Society