Home is now far away: The disappearing coast of Agorkedzi
Located in the Ada East District of Ghana, Agorkedzi a small island coommunity offers a picturesque view from the Volta River. However, this once thriving village is now contending with the dire consequences of coastal erosion. With over 100 homes once standing on its land, Agorkedzi has experienced a drastic reduction, leaving only around 18 homes that still remain. More than half of the original land mass has either shifted to form precarious tiny islands that vanish with the tide or has been entirely washed away. Despite these challenges, the resilient community of Agorkedzi perseveres in the face of coastal erosion's relentless impact.
Mr. Zormalo Anumo and Fenyebga Yaovi face the consequences of flooding as fisherman and fish monger. Mr. Zormalo Anumo, a dedicated fisherman, and his wife, Fenyebga Yaovi, a resilient fish monger, face daunting challenges in their livelihood due to persistent flooding. Mr Zormalo hasn't been able to go fishing in four to five months. It is no longer possible to reach the usual spots, where he and others used to catch fish, or dock their boats. New sand banks have formed following flooding, which are now blocking routes to the sea. But the new place he has moved to is also unsafe. When water levels rise, his house gets flooded, too. He is often unable to sleep at night, when high tide comes, as he is afraid it will wash away his belongings.
Fenyebga Yaovi stops to pose for a photo infront of what was previously her home. Fenyebga was a fishmonger on the island. With men now unable to fish, there is no fish for her to prepare, and she has had to stop working, too. At the moment, she is still looking for an alternative source of income. HIDE
Fenyebga and her children. HIDE
A boy nicknamed "Captain" sits at the helm of his father Gabriel's boat. The boy's job is to be on the lookout for 'growths' during their boat trips. Since the waterways have been turned by the sea, he has to make sure they don't run aground during their journey. With new sand banks forming seemingly overnight, boat owners who used to know the route very well now have to be very cautious. A trip to Agorkedzi and back would usually take 30 minutes. Now, it is stretching into hours.
Remains of abandoned homes in Agorkedzi. Coastal erosion has led to flooding, and it is flooding, which has led to the destruction of properties, here. The problem of coastal erosion has been affecting the coast of Ada for more than 30 years, but coastal erosion began accelerating about 10 years ago. This year, in the months of September to December, it really accelerated. The residents of Agorkedzi are now questionning whether there is any future possible on their island, and are left wondering at night whether the next tide coming in will be the one destroying their home.