Ado Road, Badore property at risk of collapse
Residents seek end to sand dredging
It took the recent boat mishap in Ikorodu area of Lagos State for the activities of sand dredgers to come to light when boat operators blamed the activities of the dredgers for the boat that capsized at a dredging point enroute Badore, Ajah jetty.
Presently, residents of Ado, Badore and Langbassa communities in Ajah are up in arms with sand miners operating along the lagoon front that encircles the area. Their concerns are protection of the environment, their massive investment in properties, which may begin to cave in the nearest future, and most especially the Ado road, the only access route linking the densely populated communities to Lekki-Ajah expressway.
The road, which was recently constructed by the Lagos State government, is constantly under stress due to the activities of the sand miners, who uses their trucks to make an already bad traffic situation worse. It takes usually between two to three hours to ply the road, which is less than a five minutes drive.
Narrating his ordeal to The Guardian, Mr. Sam Uche, a resident, said: “Everyday, trucks ferrying loads of sand dredged from the ocean, drip wet sand onto the tarred road. As a result, the road undulates because of the excessive deposit of sand, which becomes heated by the sun and forms a hard layer over the asphalt.
“Also, the risk of flooding is very high because the sand that is supposed to break the surge of the ocean is being removed all the time, exposing structures along the shoreline to grave danger,” he said.
A community leader, who took The Guardian round some of the sites he termed the sand holes of Ajah, said Lagos faces grave environmental disaster if the activities of the sand miners are not checked. “The depth of where they are mining is now so deep that sand is being pulled out from the road’s underbelly. The road is in danger and it may collapse soon.
“Taxpayers cannot keep on paying taxes for the government to expend unnecessarily on issues that require proper oversight management and regulation. The next thing we will hear is that the road is impassable and the government will award huge sums of money to a construction company for its rehabilitation,” he lamented.
On February 2, 2016, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode ordered sand dredgers operating in waterways in the state to stop their operations and vacate the sites immediately, but the order is yet to be complied with in Badore.
The Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure, Mr. Ade Akinsanya, who relayed the governor’s order, said: “Ambode has ordered that all sand dredgers in Lagos State should stop operations immediately. The idea is to ensure adequate security of lives and property in the state.
Dredgers also need to renew their operational permit annually, but majority of them have not renewed their permit for many years.”
When asked why the activities of dredgers have continued unabated, the commissioner in a text message said government is deeply concerned about the damage their activities are causing to the environment, especially public utilities, but promised that “an action would be taken soon.”
Some of the dredgers were seen at the weekend still working at the various sites, including Badore. They refused to comment on their activities but a source that is familiar with their operations, confided in The Guardian that all the operators had been given December 31, 2015 as deadline but it seems the state government is incapable of enforcing its order.
“I don’t know why government has not stopped the sand miners. I understand the issue is between the Federal and state government. All waterways belong to the Federal Government and they issue licenses to the operators. It will therefore be difficult for the state to carry out its threat, even now that it is the same political party controlling both the state and the federal,” the source hinted.