Residents of the Majidun community in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State are expressing deep concerns over the detrimental impact of sand dredging on their lives.
The activities of private individuals licensed by the government for dredging have led to severe environmental threats and misery for the residents. The dredging has resulted in erosion, causing floods that affect both roads and buildings along the coastline.
Ayo Abejoye, a resident, highlighted the adverse effects, emphasizing that erosion is inevitable wherever dredging occurs. The proximity of the river to houses has increased, amplifying the risk of floods during rainfall. Another resident, Margaret, echoed these sentiments, citing instances of property destruction due to floods caused by the activities on the river.
The community head, Olusegun Alexander, revealed that despite efforts to bring the issue to the government’s attention, no action has been taken. He expressed concern about the government’s approval of dredging without considering the welfare of the community, putting lives and properties at risk. The community had engaged with the dredgers in the past, but promises to construct protective structures were unfulfilled.
In response, a source from the Lagos State Ministry of Waterfront and Infrastructure Development disputed the claim of dredging disturbance, suggesting that most houses in the community are built on low land. The source called for a proper investigation with evidence provided by the community to determine the root cause of the issues. The source also mentioned the possibility of failed negotiations between operators and the community contributing to the allegations.
As the Majidun community grapples with these challenges, there is a pressing need for a collaborative approach involving the community, government, and operators to address the environmental threats and safeguard the well-being of residents.