May 12, 2021

Nigeria Transport Hub

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Evil of uncontrolled dredging goes beyond traffic chaos, destroys the soul of a society

3 min read

Eko Atlantic City

I have just read part of your Message sent on March 11, 2021, about the warning issued by the Lagos State Government to Dredgers, over their activities that impede Traffic Flow. Please find below, my comments and reaction.

The Drainage Department of the Lagos State Government has been clearing Canals and Drains in Victoria Island, as well as other parts of Lagos, regularly over the last 3 or more years.

The debris that comes out is indeed a sight to behold and speaks volumes about our level of indiscipline in the proper disposal and dispersal of our solid waste / Refuse as normally expected of responsible citizens. There is however some tardiness in the removal of these waste matter from the Road Side to Sanitary Landfill Sites, hence the consequent disruption to the smooth flow of traffic.

The foregoing should be considered separately and distinctly from the Business activities of those who dredge or “mine” sand for utilization in the construction industry. The sand is usually of two types: 1.] Sharp Sand for making Concrete and molding Sandcrete Blocks; and 2.] Soft Sand for Plastering and Rendering Walls, screeding Floors in preparation for the laying of Ceramic Tiles, and other similar purposes. Majidun River near Ikorodu Town, which yields non-salty Sand is one of the popular sources for this.

Dredging activities also include the massive Land Reclamation Works, which many of us have witnessed over the last 10 or more years in the construction of Eko Atlantic City, at former Bar Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Not many Environmentalists will argue against the nomenclature of “concrete jungle” for what has now replaced the Palm Frond Tents, Beach Chairs, Hawkers of Fresh Coconut Milk, etc., which were located therein in the 1970s as well as the 1980s.

Utilizing the Eko Atlantic City as a Case Study for discussion, I doubt if Field Based Environmental Impact Assessment Studies were conducted before execution of the Project commenced (as contrasted with Library and Desk Based Report Writing). Otherwise, important findings would have emerged about the loss of Marine Life, Aquatic Flora and Fauna, in the Atlantic Coastal Waters, which may hold the key to known and yet unknown ailments and diseases, a balanced Ecosystem, and so on and so forth.

Incidences of Flooding and Coastal Erosion in parts of Ibeju – Lekki Local Government Area, such as Alpha Beach, Eleko Beach, and some Private Estates along the Lekki – Epe Expressway, are also being connected or linked to the activities of Dredgers, WITHOUT THE BENEFIT of Hydraulic Research and Hydrological Studies.

It is relevant to mention here that in the early to mid-1980s, some high powered Research Works on the Bar Beach Erosion Problem, was conducted at the Hydraulic Research Unit of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Nigeria, under the leadership of Professor E. Sunday Oyegoke, PhD. Many Civil Engineering Students at Unilag that worked with him on that Project, subsequently earned their M.Phil. and PhD. Degrees.

To round off, the issues and problems that arise from uncontrolled as well as unregulated activities of Dredgers go beyond the short-term discomfort of being “stuck” in Traffic Jam! We may be losing already endangered and scarce Marine Life, creating problems of Flooding in other parts of Lagos, creating coastal erosion problems, losing potential opportunities to obtain Herbal Remedies to diseases from [destroyed] Aquatic Plants, opening up land in a manner that will cause pollution to sources of Ground Water, to mention just a few.

Long Live The Federal Republic of Nigeria; May God Continue To Grant Wisdom To Our Leaders.

Written By: –
Engr. Afolabi O. ADEDEJI, FNSE
Afolabi Adedeji & Associates [‘AA&A’]
Consulting & Training in Facilities Management, Etc.
This Thursday, the 1st Day of April, the Year 2021

Nota bene

However, from the state government viewpoint, the Eko Atlantic City, when completed, Nigeria’s International Commerce City which is being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean, is expected to add at least $1 billion to Nigeria’s economy annually.

Standing on 10 million square metres of land, Eko Atlantic City is expected to leverage real estate, services, tourism and employment to achieve more than $1 billion GDP contribution. The projected contribution represents 0.25 per cent of Nigeria’s current GDP size of about $400 billion. —BusinessDay

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