Sea eating our land, indigenes cry out
By Robert Egbe
The Igbekodo/Sirinwon, Apakin, Itamarun, and Oriyanrin communities of Lekki Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area (LGA) of Lagos are seeking Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s help to save their lives and property from ocean encroachment.
They said their shorelines are being washed away at the rate of about five meters per day, with the water also sweeping away their homes, fishing boats, coconut trees and other crops planted near the shore.
This level of erosion, they added, is “unprecedented” and “a combined consequence of ongoing dredging and other construction projects” by industries in the area.
Companies in the area include Dangote Petrochemicals Industries and Refinery Company, Lagos Deep Seaport, among others.
The elders in charge of the communities are chiefs Korede Ifebule, Isideen Ifebule, Dodo Aina, Musikilu Aina (Igbekodo/Siriwon), Sulaimon Nojimu Ibikunle Ogunade-1 (Itamarun), Ismael Balogun (Oriyorin), Otunba Eyiowun (Committee Head), Kassim Balogun, Apena Ibirogba, Liafiz Shonaike, Tajudeen Omikunle (Apakin).
They said: “The Atlantic Ocean is fast eating away the shoreline at an alarming rate of about five meters per day. The shoreline had an initial setback of about 150 metres some years ago.
“This has been reduced to less than 40 meters by the constantly expanding ocean. Many boats, canoes, fishing equipment, and farmlands have been lost to ocean encroachment.
“If nothing is urgently done, entire communities will be washed away. For the past 12 months, the ocean surge has continued. People can no longer leave their boats and wares on the beaches in the evening, for fear that the ocean might have swept them away by the following morning. The boats now have to be towed away from the beaches far into the land and tied to trees.
“This is what we have been going through every day for a year now. We bring our canoes and boats inland to the beaches every day, after each fishing trip. But when we return the next morning, our boats are gone, because the ocean would have encroached on the beach, eating away the sand and taking our canoes, boats, fishing nets, and every other item left in the boats.”
They begged the governor and the companies there for help to “fill the eroded shores and put measures in place to prevent the re-occurrence of these events in the future. This is our home; we have nowhere else to go.”
Source: Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics
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