This beach has been shipped from an occupied country
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This fake beach on Madeira is made of sand from occupied Western Sahara. In May/June, the beach was fortified with another 2800 tonnes. Portuguese bloggers wonder why.
Published: 12.07 - 2008 20:20Printer version    
Anyone can see that Calheta beach on the volcanic Portuguese island of Madeira is fake. But where does it actually come from?

The beach on which the sun-hungry tourists enjoy their vacation originates from the occupied country of Western Sahara, and is transported to the touristic destination in violation of international law.

The last shipment came on 31st of May 2008.

2800 tonnes of sand was then transported on the vessel 'Seisbulk' from Laayoune. The imports followed some two months after a storm had stripped the Calheta beach of much of its sand.

'Seisbulk' has delivered sand to Calheta also previous years, as well as shipped sand to the Canary Islands construction industry and beaches.

A couple of Madeiran bloggers wonder why the local authorities have to spend the taxpayers' money on the beach. None of the bloggers have, however, seemed to question the origin of the sand:

"The families on Madeira are going through hard economic difficulties", writes the blog Urbanidades da Madeira.

"But in stead of helping the Madeiran people, the [governing party] PSD-Madeira have made other, and too controversial priorities. [...] They spend the Maderian money on buying tonnes of yellow sand from Morocco for the Calheta beach. How much is this going to cost?", the blogger writes.

"How much money have we spent so far in the artificial beach since it was constructed till today", questions another blog, "Os tormentos do linho".

This article below apparently appeared in the newspaper Diário de Notícias on the 31st of May 2008:

"Chega areia amarela amanhã
Passados que estão dois meses do temporal que se abateu sobre a Região, o qual levou muita da areia amarela da praia artificial da Calheta, para o fundo do mar, o DIÁRIO sabe que aquele espaço receberá uma recarga de 2,8 mil toneladas de areia oriunda de Marrocos.
Depois de alguma incerteza, por parte dos governantes regionais, quando à necessidade de ser feito, ou não, um reforço extraordinário de areia naquele espaço, a decisão final já foi tomada, confirmada que está a chegada ao porto do Caniçal do navio graneleiro 'Seisbulk'.
Procedente do porto de Laayoune, o mesmo transporta nos respectivos porões cerca de 2.800 toneladas de areia amarela, que será depositada ao longo da zona de solário daquela praia.
O navio deverá atracar amanhã, pelas 20 horas, no porto do Caniçal dando início às operações de descarga apenas na próxima segunda-feira. Com agenciamento para a Madeira a cargo da Via Oceano, as operações de descarga e transporte serão asseguradas por uma dezena de camiões, os quais transportarão, por estrada, a areia para a praia da Calheta. Ao final do dia de segunda-feira, o 'Seisbulk' conclui a sua escala no Funchal, zarpando com destino a alto mar.
Sobre este navio, recorde-se que o mesmo pertence ao armador Arabela Enterprises, foi construído em 1984, mede 89,97 metros de comprimento, 12,37 metros de boca (largura) e um calado máximo de 6,8 metros. A sua arqueação bruta é de 2.138 toneladas.
De destacar, ainda, que o mesmo está equipado com uma máquina retroescavadora, a qual encontra-se assente sobre carris, que permite a descarga dos inertes directamente dos porões para os camiões. Desde a sua construção e até á data este navio já ostentou as seguintes designações: 'Allvang', Marpol Gyga I' e 'Elde Rescue IV'.
De assinalar, ainda, a presença no Caniçal, nos próximos dias, dos navios porta contentores - 'Ilha da Madeira', o 'Insular', o 'Madeirense 3' e do 'sete Cidades', bem como do navio graneleiro 'Helas', o qual é procedente de La Coruna e que tem como objectivo o abastecimento de ferro na Região."



    

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Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
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Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder

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At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.

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