A cross-section of experts in peace and conflict prevention, nature’s preservation and the academic has urged the Lagos state government to halt the excesses of sand dredging companies in Rakaba community in Ikorodu local government area.
According to the experts, the call was in order to save the ecosystem and that of others along the state’s coastline.
Members of Rabaka community who spoke at a consultative meeting with officials of the Lagos state ministry of environment and water resources and that of the ministry of women affairs and poverty alleviation said as fishers, they no longer found fishes in their waters.
Leader of the delegation, at the Forum put together by the West Africa Network for Peace-building (WANEP) and the Nature Cares Resources Centre (NCRC), Mr. Benson Omoleye, said the exploitations of Rakaba landscape had brought untold hardship on the people and threatened the peace of the area.
“Personally, I have lost hundreds of thousands of naira to the destructive activities of the dredging firms who daily destroy our fishing equipment in their quest to dredge sand all over the community,” he said.
Also speaking, the national coordinator of WANEP-Nigeria, Mrs. Bridget Osakwe, said the Forum was an ‘’opportunity to examine and have discussion on the natural resources exploitation particularly sand extraction and its impacts on our coastal communities livelihoods and women well-being in Lagos state.”
“The multiple use of ocean or lagoon space and their resources often result in conflict when proper policies and strategies for decent resource exploitation are not in place,” she said.
On his part, the head, department of climate change and environmental planning, Lagos state ministry of environment and water resources, Mr. Michael Bankole, said the state government “is passionate about its environment and what becomes of the people that live in the environment.”
“The ministry is constantly preaching sustainable living and for everyone to be responsible to the environment by doing the right things,” he said.