Ocean Surge – Environmental Stakeholders Call for Impact Assessment

In the wake of the ocean surge that is currently affecting some coastal areas in Lagos, environmental stakeholders Thursday called on the state government to embark on a continuous impact assessment of the high risk areas.

This is coming as the ocean surge, Monday swept away a teenage fun-seeker whose identity was yet-to-be identified at the Bar Beach when he went for a swim.

As part of measures to ameliorate the effect of the ocean surge, they called on the state government to also continue its environmental impact auditing of the Eko Atlantic City, a mega project by the Lagos State Government.

Speaking to THISDAY, the spokesperson, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), South-west zone, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, said there was need to monitor the level of the various developmental projects ongoing in various locations along the Lagoon coastlines and the South-west region.

Farinloye said the stakeholders raised the concerns during the meeting convened by NEMA in Lagos to kick start the collation of opinions and suggestions by various stakeholders towards tackling the vulnerabilities of the nation’s coastlines from the Lagos Lagoon to Calabar coast.

He said the stakeholders agreed that there was need for a regular Environmental Impacts Assessment (EIA) despite the position of Lagos State officials who had argued that the initial assessment did not indicate any danger to the coastlines.

At the end of the summit, he said the stakeholders submitted their assessment on the Lagos Lagoon, which is known as the most tumultuous and unstable in the whole of West African coastlines.

He said: “The meeting was convened on the directives of the Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, based on the initial reports of NEMA on the threats of sea-rise and ocean surge in the Lagos coastline.”

The Director of Search and Rescue of the NEMA, Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, in his speech, harped on the physical damage impacted by the ocean surge on other areas in other parts of the country.

The Nigerian Maritime Safety and Administration Agency (NIMASA) officer, Mr. Muri Isa, averred that the Nigerian coastlines have recorded over 3.5 sea rise level, which portend serious concern for the mitigation process to be embarked upon by all stakeholders.

Also, the Oniru beach General Manager, Mr. Ayo Ariyo, expressed grave concerns at the rate at which Oniru beach is being taken over by the surge, adding that danger is in the offing if immediate measures are not taken.

The Deputy Director, Erosion and Control, Federal Ministry Environment, Adekunle Oshekoye, also called for more action towards arresting the impacts of the sea-rise, ocean surge and consequent impacts of the Eko Atlantic City Project.

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