Experts lament deplorable state of Epe coastal communities
Experts have called for urgent government attention to the living standards of people in Epe, Lagos State, especially the coastal areas.
They stressed the need to ensure the development and protection of human rights of those living in the riverine area.
Residents of the community lamented how water hyacinth, a water plant, constantly threatened their source of livelihood and survival as lives have been lost in transit to get to health facilities and other basic human rights.
Speaking on the 10 days greener pastures project organised by ‘Eyes of a Lagos Boy’, a health Consultant, Greener Pastures Project, Dr. Tuyi Mebawondu, said the state of Epe coastal communities is a revelation of poor governance, adding that with the proper management the area could serve as a tourist center.
He stressed that the image portrayed as Lagos was unreal noting that rural and urban communities make up the state.
“When you want to see complexity in Lagos, go to the rural areas. We need to focus attention on areas where their human rights are violated. You measure government progress by what happens in the rural and urban areas,” he said.
Director, ‘Eyes of a Lagos Boy’, Bolaji Alonge, noted that the project was a derivative of a pilot study on Lagos Coastal Health that documented the health issues of people along the Lagos lagoon coastline.
He explained that the project which runs from 16th to 26th of September, brings together photography, video documentary and painting to capture never-seen images of these communities and give a platform to its inhabitants. He added that there are over 140 villages scattered around the coastal area in Epe, Lagos.
“This project started in January 2018 as a collective desire to contribute to a better future for these communities. The challenges faced by locals are universal while being compounded by external factors. Artists such as Claude Monet and his water lilies also inspired us.
According to him, proceeds from sales of art and photography will contribute to buying books for local schools and other initiatives that address the urgent needs of these communities which include, health, water, education and sanitation.