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Environmentalists seek protection for coastal communities

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To avert the effects of ocean surge, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and other stakeholders have advanced the need to protect the coastal communities of Lagos through the planting of economic trees.

The Director General of the foundation, Dr. Mukhtari Aminu-Kano who spoke at the Climate Action Leaders’ summit week which featured the planting of trees at the Okun-Alfa beach in Lagos, said there is need to galvanise action towards protecting people living along the coastal communities from the risks of been washed away by increasing coastal erosion.

Aminu-Kano said one of the things that the commemoration of tree planting could do was to reduce the power of erosion from the sea and break the strength of erosion from negatively impacting the communities, lives and properties.

Those present at the programme include, traditional titleholders from the coastal communities. They include, the Baale of Owonikoko, Chief Ashimi Noibi, Baale Lafiaji, Chief Alli Balogun, president of coastal community youth forum, and some youth corps members in Lagos state.

The DG who was represented by the head, business development and communication, Ayodele Alamu said, “The good thing is that if you go to beaches where you have a lot of tresses and if they are in plenty conditions, what the trees do is that instead of the tidal waves to come straight at the beach, the trees stand in the way, break the tidal waves and reduces the strength of the waves. Beyond that, it also adds valuable contributions to the communities. You can’t underestimate the importance of shades. The tresses that are planted are economic trees, they give coconut which could be sold out at maturity.”

Speaking on the participation of the local chiefs in the activity, he stated, “You can’t have community engagement without having the involvement of those that oversees the affairs of the community which are the traditional title holders who are the closet authority to the communities. When you have them involved, you are able to guide their communities in ensuring compliance and educating them. Every member of the community would have access to the Baale than those at the seat of government”.

The Baale of Okun-Alfa, Chief Yusuf Atewolara while commending the initiative lamented that infrastructural development at the Victoria Island area of the state has accelerated the ocean surge at the Okun-Alfa beach stating that that tress that were planted some decades ago in the community have been washed away by the surge and moved the water closer to the people
“ If those that developed the Victoria Island end had engaged us and seek our opinion before development the area, the sea wont have disturbed us much. The Okun-Alfa beach used to be full of coconut plantations but now the whole plantation has disappeared. Community development and protection is a collective responsibility which everyone must participate”, he said

Representatives of total exploration and production Nigeria ltd at the forum, Mrs. Delight Sunday observed that the combination of groins and trees would go a long way in mitigating the impact of the ocean surge in Lagos coastal communities.


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