Monarch warns on danger of illegal dredging

Illegal sand mining in LagosToju Vincent

26 September 2013, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Akran of Badagry, De Wheno Aholu Menu Toyi I, has warned of great danger ahead should the activities of illegal dredging along the creeks in Lagos, especially in Badagry, be allowed to continue unchecked.

He said that something should be done to check these activities that are beginning to have serious effect on the environment.

Speaking at the 7th National Dredging Summit and Exhibition, NDSE, in Badagry, the Akran explained that the continuous dredging of sand from the creeks by young men is threatening islands around the area.

The royal father mentioned two peninsula communities in particular, Ajedo and Okogbedu where the land space between the ocean and creeks has gradually reduced over the years to about 50 meters. He pointed out that unless something urgent is done about the development, all communities along the vicinity may soon be flooded by water from the ocean.

“Should this be allowed to continue unchecked, the proposed road construction from Takwa-bay to Badagry would no longer be possible” he said.

He also complained about the activities of illegal surface sand mining that is threatening parts of the roads along the Mile 2 – Badagry expressway following the artificial lakes created by the illegal sand miners.

He warned that those portions of the road may soon be cut in two unless action is taken urgently.

The royal father however commended the Lagos state government for giving approval to dredging firms to provide sand to meet the need of the people. He noted that along the stretch from Topo to Marina, there are dredgers pumping sand from the river as a means of discouraging illegal dredging activities.

He observed that but for the efforts of the Lagos state government in controlling the activities of illegal dredging, part of the state may have sank.

Earlier in his opening remark, Programe coordinator of NDSE, Mr. Edmund Chilaka, said that the programme is an annual gathering of dredging, maritime and marine sector operators and stakeholders to deliberate on the state of the industry with a view to improving services, expanding the knowledge base of the practitioners and contributing to the growth of indigenous operators.

He stressed the need for improvement and development of indigenous dredging firms in the country, as most of them are not properly managed with the right caliber of staff required.

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