Sand. It might seem like it’s a matter that has no real usefulness. But that is factually wrong. Sand is one of the most used matters by man in building concrete and asphalt for example. Besides that, it’s hard to beat the feeling of warm sand under your feet when walking on a sandy beach.
There is a history of imported sand in Tenerife. Tenerife does not really have any natural sandy beaches, most of the natural beaches are rocky or have small lava rocks. That’s why there have been enormous imports of sand from West Sahara to Tenerife.
The origin of the sand import was that it was very expensive to make volcanic sand for the beaches of Tenerife. It proved to be far more cheap to import sand from West Sahara which is a region largely occupied by Morocco. The key-phrase here is occupied. As Western Sahara is often called “The last African Colony” as after the Spanish colonization it was taken over by Morocco.
There is still a conflict between Morocco and Sahrawi native rebels that want to be free from their occupiers. Therefore, the imported sand has been a controversial subject as many have called it a theft from the Sahrawi people. It sure is an infected subject and it has been a really violent conflict throughout the decades. It should be stated that the conflict does not revolve about sand but it is more a question of independence and national identity for the Sahrawi.
The imported sand in Tenerife were far greater in the early days of Tenerife tourism however. In 1970 when Western Sahara was still a Spanish colony a 270 000 tonnes of sand were imported to build the Las Teresitas beach. Today the sand import to Tenerife is much smaller which can be seen a positive thing due to the infected conflict between the Sahrawi and Morocco.
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