Erosion : Residents lament

Residents of the Majidun community in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State have lamented the activity of sand miners who they said have made living miserable.

The residents told PUNCH Online on Monday, that the dredging activity has wreaked havoc and has become an environmental threat to them.

It was learnt that those carrying out dredging activities are private individuals licensed by the government.

Speaking with PUNCH Online, a resident, Ayo Abejoye, said one of the shortcomings of the activity is flood which affects roads and buildings on the coastline.

He said, “Anywhere dredging takes place, erosion is certain. We can no longer manage the situation. It affects us, especially during downpour. The river was far from these houses before, but now it is closer and floods can easily wreak havoc.”

Another resident, who identified herself simply as Margaret, also decried the situation.

“The activity on the river causes floods. I know people whose properties have been destroyed by floods. I am not comfortable with the situation, just take a look at the environment,” she complained

Meanwhile,  the community head, Olusegun Alexander, revealed that he had written to the government on their plight but nothing was done.

“You are taking sand from a river, and you expect sand not to return there. There will surely be erosion.  I have written letters to the government, but these dredgers are influential.

“The government gave them approval and did not bother about the welfare of the community, where they generate money. The implication is worrisome and our lives and properties are in danger.

“There was a time we had a meeting with the dredgers, and they promised to construct pilling so the effect can be controlled but we have not seen any development. We were labeled hoodlums in our community whenever we went against their operation. We will keep fighting this course because our safety matters,” Alexander stated.

A source at the Lagos State Ministry of Waterfront and Infrastructure Development disclosed that the issue might not be dredging as claimed because most houses in the community are on low land,

He said proper investigation would reveal the problem.

“We have no record of dredging disturbance in the Majidun community but if there is any, they should write to the ministry and attach pictorial evidence so we can investigate as we do not deal with assumptions.

“The fact is that most residents in that area are living in illegal structures constructed on the coastline, some do not even have a certificate of occupancy. These allegations might also be a result of failed negotiation between the operators and the community,” the source said.

Source: PUNCH


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