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Coastal erosion: NCF seeks FG’s, Lagos Govt’s urgent intervention

…Says Lagos Island may go under water by 2030 if..

By Kingsley Adegboye

Disturbed by the devastating effect of the fast eastward ocean current eating up several meters of land daily on the Lekki and Victoria Island corridors, thereby threatening lives and property along the axis, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, NCF, has called for urgent intervention of the Federal Government to save Lagos coastline from imminent total collapse.

•Coastal community affected by erosion

Already, several coastal communities have been washed away by coastal erosion, and the entire Lagos might be submerged if nothing is done, following reports that the Lagos Island would be underwater by 2030 and the whole of Lagos by 2050.

The management team of NCF who made the appeal in Lagos at the weekend during an advocacy campaign for coastal area along Lekki-Lagos Island axis, commended Lagos State Government for constructing 15 groins along the shoreline which have minimised coastal erosion along the axis, pointing out however, that the extension of the groins up to Escravos would be permanent solution to the problem.

Leading  the campaign, Mr. Ede Dafinone, Chairman, Board of Trustees, NCF, said the entire Lagos  metropolis was being threatened by coastal erosion and urgent intervention by the Federal Government was needed to avert the looming dangers ahead.

Dafinone who, said it had been forecast that Lagos Island would be under water by 2030 and the entire city to be submerged by 2050, explained that the problem of coastline erosion started during the colonial era when moulds were created to protect the Apapa-Wharf.

He said the impact of the erosion caused a backlash on the Lekki axis causing an overflow of the Bar Beach, pointing out however, that the Eko Atlantic City project which commenced in 2012, had been protecting the Bar beach but pushing the problem further downstream.

NCF chairman who disclosed that Lagos State Government began the construction of groins around the Eko Atlantic City and Bar beach towards Elegushi beach to solve the problem, added that the initiative to erect five groins had effectively protected and replenished 14 kilometres along the coast.

According to Dafione: “It costs about a N1 billion to construct one groin and Lagos State Government’s inability to continue with the project suggests that they were overwhelmed by the problem. That is why we are seeking Federal Government’s urgent intervention now.”

In his presentation, Mr. Joseph Onoja, NCF’s Director, Technical Programme, said by mid-2011, the Eko Atlantic Project protected the beach but the problem moved eastward between 2015 and 2016.

According to Onoja, “In May 2000, in Okun Alfa community, the length from the house to the shoreline was 109 metres. The coastal communities such as Igbo-Efon,Okun-Ajah, Okun-Alfa, Lafiaji which were about 13,000 metres from the Kuramo waters had no fear for coastal erosion.

“By mid 2011, in preparation for Eko Atlantic city project, and protecting the bar beach coast, sand-filling had reached about 45 per cent. The effect along other coastal communities and the length from the house reduced to 72 metres. There was a road between the house and the shoreline. But  today, the road is completely washed away.

“Between December 2015 and April 2016, the distance between the house and the road was 47 metres, but in April 2016, the distance had reduced to 33 metres. Unfortunately, before the construction of the groins, the building had been washed away. Since the timely construction of the groins, further damage has been prevented and the beach is now replenishing itself.”

He, therefore, emphasised the urgent need for the Federal Government to intervene to protect the shorelines to ward off the fast ocean currents worsened by climate change and other human activities.

“It took only 24 hours for a whole community to be wiped off in Kuramo Beach. Other countries are protecting their shorelines and we in Nigeria must do same”, Onoja stated.

The Director-General, NCF, Mr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, in his remarks, appealed to both the Federal Government and Lagos State Government to intervene in the protection of the shorelines as far as the Escravos to avert disaster.

According to the DG: “The immediate solution is for Lagos to take the groins construction all the way to Escravos. We are appealing to the managers of the ecological fund to look in the area of these shorelines in Lagos.”

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