“All I do these days is hang around the neighbourhood and hope that the tide increases so I can go out to fish. But, in the last two months, I have not caught a single fish. I’m a fisherman, how am I supposed to survive,” Francis Ajagun, a 35-year-old fisherman in Ago-Egun narrating his harrowing experience.Francis’ source of livelihood has been cut off by the land reclamation project of the Lagos state government at Iyana-Oworo.
Francis’ source of livelihood has been cut off by the land reclamation project of the Lagos state government at Iyana-Oworo.
The reclamation of the 29.6 hectares required for a proposed waterfront estate has been more of a curse than a blessing to the inhabitants of Ago-Egun – the adjoining community opposite Iyana-Oworo.
The waterfront community of over 600 inhabitants is now on the verge of being wiped away, while its footprints could be sent to the dustbin of history.
Apart from Ago-Egun, inhabitants of Iyana Oworo and Bariga too have had to bear the brunt of the reclamation.
There is constant flooding of their surroundings due to the onward movement of the Atlantic Ocean towards their houses.
At the moment, some houses are gradually being submerged as the water level around the neighbourhood rises on daily basis.
Fishing, which is the main source of daily bread for the Ago-Egun community has stopped since May 2017 because the water is no longer good for the trade.
The decision of the Lagos state government to embark on the reclamation is another development in the series of its anti-people policies.
That Ago-Egun will soon be demolished anytime from now is an open secret, as the area is now susceptible to flooding.
As a result, any mass flooding incidence in the area will be greeted with the narrative of building on the flood plain which will be followed by demolition and mass displacement of citizens of the area.
Lagos state government once again is about to show the red card for the helpless people of Ago-Egun. They are in need of a saviour, who will that be?