Lagos, Netherlands collaborate on coastal zone management

Lagos Comm. for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Hon Alebiosu (3rd from left); Consular General of the Kingdom on the Netherlands in Lagos, Michel Deelen (2nd from right) and other members of business delegation from the Netherlands,

The Lagos Government has announced a promising partnership with the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the proposed establishment of the Coastal Zone Management Project initiated by the state.

Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Hon. Yacoob Alebiosu, shared his optimism about this collaboration during a meeting with a Dutch business delegation led by Consular General Michel Deelen at the Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development (MWID).

This visit is a continuation of previous discussions on potential collaborations for managing Lagos’ coastline. The meeting delved into opportunities for cooperation in water management, coastal protection, and sustainable development.

Speaking during the meeting, Alebiosu highlighted the advantages of leveraging the Netherlands’ expertise in these areas to enhance Lagos’ waterfront infrastructure.

He expressed excitement about the partnership’s prospects, and hinted at ongoing conversations and the potential positive impact on coastal communities.

The Commissioner also disclosed that he anticipates further discussions to solidify this fruitful collaboration.

Lagos State has been grappling with coastal erosion, especially in communities such as Idotun, Origanrigan, Olomowewe, Itoke, and Asoroko in Ibeju Lekki.

During a previous visit, Alebiosu emphasized the state’s proactive measures to address this issue by introducing new and cost-effective technology used by various countries, including some in Africa.

While highlighting the state’s commitment to reclamation and protection of these villages, despite the high costs involved, he stressed the importance of supporting communities along the coastline, acknowledging that while erosion is a natural occurrence, mitigation measures are crucial.

“We are looking at reclamation and also protecting what is left of these villages, though it is very expensive. We have some groins around Okunde, known as the Great Wall, and aim to block these groins to relieve pressure in that area. However, we need to extend this from Alpha Beach to Ibeju Lekki, a 42km stretch requiring about 105 groins,” Alebiosu explained.

He further detailed the costs, stating, “More than a year ago, in February 2023, the cost of constructing a groin was about N12bn. The total coastline in Lagos is approximately 180km, which is substantial. If we are to address the entire stretch, the costs are significant. Nevertheless, we must persist in our efforts to protect the ancestral land and livelihoods of the affected communities.”

Alebiosu also noted that the state is considering replenishment methods used in the Netherlands for long-term solutions.

He stressed the importance of collaboration with the federal government and private sector in protecting the coastline.

“We have identified some African countries that have tackled similar challenges using better and cheaper groin technology.

“We are studying these methods and want to be thoroughly convinced before committing. We assure the affected communities that the solution is near and ask for their patience,” Alebiosu assured.

The Coastal Zone Management Project in Lagos is an initiative part of the broader effort by the state to address coastal erosion, environmental degradation, and to promote sustainable development along its coastline.

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