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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China-India Border Standoff Continues as Leaders Hold Summit

New Delhi accuses hundreds of Chinese soldiers of illegally entering Indian territory in disputed region of Ladakh More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid