News / Africa

Erosion Undercuts Nigeria Beach Tourism

Protesters in beachfront community of Lekki, Nigeria, say erosion is threatening their lives and their property - and they want authorities to take actions to reverse the ocean's assault on this peninsula east of Lagos, July 2011
Protesters in beachfront community of Lekki, Nigeria, say erosion is threatening their lives and their property - and they want authorities to take actions to reverse the ocean's assault on this peninsula east of Lagos, July 2011

Multimedia

Beachfront erosion is undermining a popular tourist destination outside Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos. Environmentalists say stronger tides are partly the result of fewer trees and the harvesting of beach sand for construction.

Protesters in the beachfront community of Lekki say erosion is threatening their lives and their property. They want Nigerian authorities to take actions to reverse the ocean's assault on this peninsula east of Lagos, where they say the tide has come in more than 100 meters since the start of the year.

Lekki residents' association chairman Silvester Oputa said people here now live in constant fear of heavy rains and strong tides.

"Most of the people have big investments here, and the danger is very inherent and if care is not taken, with the rains in the next two weeks, I think we will be washed away," said Oputa.

Saving the beach is too big of a job for the Lagos state government to handle alone, say state officials. But they promise to seek federal funding in order to better protect the area from rising tides.

Lekki is home to some of the most valuable beachfront property in West Africa, as the wealth of Lagos moves into this lagoon. The area is near a new free trade zone - and a planned community for more than a quarter-million people - built on an artificial island made out of sand dredged from the ocean floor.

At some points on this peninsula, just 20 meters of sand separate the ocean from the lagoon. People along Lekki's Alpha Beach are suffering as strong tides wash away businesses that just months ago catered to weekend crowds of tourists.

Sam Obed runs Lekki's Fun Factory Beach Pub.

“Drastically, the business is down for now, unlike before when people used to come," said Obed. "You see a lot of people, a lot of crowds come to Alpha Beach. Business was booming. But for two months now business is really down.”

Obed's neighbor, youth pastor Lai Amidu, said there were far more palm trees along this beach when he moved here nine years ago.

"Over the years, because of unregulated activities of people who cut these trees, we have lost most of these trees. And I think the trees were actually some sort of protection for the land," said Amidu. "It used to resist the water coming forward. But right now, since we don't have these trees, the water gets its way, can come in at will and get to us.”

Amidu said unscrupulous shipowners also are to blame for stronger tides because they are unwilling to spend the money to properly remove aging vessels from the ocean.

“It costs actually a large amount of money to get those vessels out of the water. So what they do is they just abandon them along the waterfront," said Amidu. "And that is creating a menace here. I think part of what we are getting here is a direct result of upsetting the balance of nature.”

What was once a promising tourist destination is now washing away day by day. Local residents say one of the first things they want is the removal of wrecks that are common, which are changing the way the tides come in.

You May Like

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs