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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid