• Monday, April 15, 2024
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Coastal erosion: Lagos mulls groin technology to save communities

Coastal erosion: Lagos mulls groin technology to save communities

To preserve and protect coastline communities in Lagos from going into extinction as a result of the impact of erosion, the state government has hinted at plans to adopt cheap groin technology already in use in other African countries.

Yacoob Alebiosu, the commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, made this known while speaking with newsmen in Lagos over the impact of erosion on the Lagos coastline.

Groin technology involves the engineering and construction of structures, taking into account factors such as wave action, sediment transport, and environmental impact. It is often part of coastal management and protection efforts to maintain beaches and shorelines in the face of erosion caused by natural processes or human activities.

The structures are built perpendicular to the shoreline, often using rocks or concrete, to prevent or reduce beach erosion. These structures are called groins, and they work by trapping sand that is carried along the shoreline by waves and currents. By trapping sand on one side of the groin, they can help build up or maintain a beach on that side, while also creating a more stable environment for structures like piers or harbours.

Some of the communities already ravaged by coastal erosion include Idotun, Origanrigan, Olomowewe, Itoke and Asoroko in Ibeju Lekki. The commissioner stated that the state is aggressively working to check this ugly tide with the introduction of new and cheaper technology already used by some African countries.

The commissioner while speaking on what the state is doing to assist the communities along the coastline, said that erosion was a natural occurrence and the most that can be done was to mitigate it.

“That is why the state has been talking to people about it,” he said, adding that the Netherlands Consular led some Dutch companies to the ministry some weeks ago to see how we they can collaborate, he also said they are expecting some other people in a couple of weeks.

Alebiosu said, “We are looking at reclamation and also to protect what is left of these villages, though very expensive to do. We have some groins at the moment around Okunde, that is the Great Wall. We want to block the groins to relieve the pressure in that area. But we’d need to move from Alpha Beach to Ibeju Lekki, and that is about a 42km stretch that will require about 105 groins to put in place.

“More than a year ago, precisely in February 2023, to put up a groin is about N12bn. The total stretch of the coastline in Lagos is about 180km, which is huge. So if we have to cater to the whole stretch, do your maths, but we have to continue to work at it because we need to protect the ancestral land of these people, and for some, it is their means of livelihood.

“We are not looking at groins alone, we are also looking at replenishment as they do in the Netherlands, we are looking at doing it long term, and we need the FG, and other private people to come together to protect the coastline.

“But the interesting thing is that we have identified some African countries who have had to deal with the same challenge using a better groin technology which is cheaper.

“We are studying it, but we still want to be more convinced about it before we commit ourselves, so we can assure the people whose communities and means of livelihood are threatened to be patient with government, the solution is near,” he assured.