For more than two months, the 376 households (about 2050 people) of Ago-Egun, a fishing community outside Bariga, a sprawling town in Lagos have had their means of livelihood cut off. Their fishing canoes sit on the shallow shores as the men of the community wander around unable to sail out to the Lagoon to fish. The community’s problem started around the end of May 2017 when a company, Nigerian Westminster Dredging and Marine Limited, started a land reclamation project on the edge of the Lagos Lagoon just at the foot of the Third Mainland bridge at Oworonshoki.The land reclamation project, which is opposite the community, is being done on the behest of the Lagos State government. On August 14, the state’s commissioner for waterfront infrastructure development, Ade Akinsanya, in a statement announced the state’s plan to transform the “blighted” area into “one of the biggest transportation, tourism and entertainment hubs in Nigeria.” He said the project will enhance the aesthetics and improve security in the area. According to Mr. Akinsanya, the proposed project on the reclaimed land will attract investment in water transportation and boost socio-economic activities in the axis. The proposed project includes shopping malls, an entertainment centre and a mega ferry terminal. The commissioner said the ferry terminal will divert human and vehicular traffic away from Lagos Island. “Youths (sic) and residents will enjoy quality sports, recreational, entertainment and emergency response facilities at the terminal.”Commuters transiting through the terminal will not only enjoy state-of the art infrastructure, they will also be able to park and ride and park and cruise from the state-of-the-art jetty, thus reducing the carbon emission level and travel time within the city,” Mr. Akinsanya said. But as the reclamation of the 29.6 hectares site for the project continues, the misery of inhabitants of Ago-Ego deepens. Two months after the dredging and sand-filling commenced, the community started experiencing difficulty navigating their fishing boats into the lagoon. Silt flowing from the dredging site towards the community completely blocked the fishermen’s route to the Lagoon.

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