NCF Appeals to Government to Protect Nigeria’s Coastline from Atlantic Ocean

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By Fadekemi Ajakaiye

The lives and livelihood of families in communities along the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean in Lagos, just like other seaside communities in the country, are threatened as the sea pounds the shore daily.

Thus, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), last week appealed to the federal government to provide engineering solution to protect the Lagos coastline.

Speaking at a media briefing in Victoria Island, Director General of NCF, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano appealed to the Federal and Lagos State Governments to protect the nation’s shoreline as far as to Escravos in Delta State to avert disaster.

“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 funds to look in the area of these shorelines in Lagos,” he said.

Chairman of NCF, Chief Ede Dafinone stated that several coastal communities had been washed away and that if nothing was done, the Victoria Island-Lekki axis would be underwater by 2030 and the whole of Lagos by 2050.

According to him, the problem of coastline erosion started during the colonial era when groins were created to protect the wharf at nearby Apapa.

He said the impact caused a backlash on the Lekki axis, causing a surge at the Bar Beach, but that the Eko Atlantic City Project later protected the Bar Beach, but has pushed the problem further to other areas along the coastline.

He said the Lagos State Government began the construction of groins around the Eko Atlantic City and Bar Beach towards Elegushi Beach to solve the problem.

He explained that the government constructed over 15 groins that effectively protected and replenished the coast for up to 14 kilometres.

“It costs about N1 billion to construct one groin and Lagos States Government’s inability to continue the project in the last 18 months suggested that they were overwhelmed by the problem,” he said.

The foundation’s Director, Technical Programmes, Dr Joseph Onoja, said by mid-2011, the Eko Atlantic Project protected the Beach but that the problem moved eastward between 2015 and 2016.

Onoja, who presented a video to illustrate the dire situation, said there was the need for the federal government to treat the problem as urgent and move in 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.”