It is certainly taking long for people within this clime to appreciate the importance of having a clean coastal area and sustaining the act.
Before talking about the environmental impact of dumping all manner of waste into the sea, it is also open that the sight of littered coastal areas can be awful.
Of note however, is the fact that some agencies are saddled with the responsibility of monitoring to ensure that these coastal areas are kept clean. They are expected, as part of their responsibilities, to prevent dumping of waste into the sea as well as engage in regular clean-ups. But are aspects of these responsibilities not being reneged?
A close view of the waterfronts in our immediate environments leaves much to detest. The long stretch of coastline from the Tin-can Island axis up to the Coconut area has never been maintained. Its regular feature holds pockets of empty containers, polythene bags and several other objects that have been washed ashore and remain along the line until the water comes for them again.
Inwards along this same line, the waterway leading to the far end to the left of the Liverpool area is home for heaps of waste including waste from humans. It is just not the best for people and the environment itself. At different times, the media have raised concerns about the situation, but it seems no structure is in place for its continued management.
Although the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) would always talk of its efforts in coastal pollution management just as the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) does, but the ‘little litters’ still lie comfortable where they should not.
Even for inland waterfronts along the Mile 2 deep into the Festac Town area in Lagos State, just as it is with other coastal areas across the country, the story is not different. We cannot rule out the fact that communities along these lines naturally dump their waste into the water, but educating them and providing alternatives can do the appropriate and desired thing; proper waste management.
A very strong concern however, is that human waste is regularly being pumped into the Lagos lagoon by the Iddo waterfront. Ideally, such waste should have undergone sewerage treatment before being released into the water. Since this is not done the pollution, particularly along the coastlines remains degrading in all respects.
It is only human that people carrying out such operations would not stop the act until there is close monitoring and enforcement of whatever laws that prohibit the wrong.Of course, this is where the lapses present themselves; where laws meant to ensure compliance in such sensitive issues are left ‘cold’ in the books while the detrimental activities heat up the environment.
We should also be concerned about the sand excavations taking place all over different waterfronts; from Tin-can Island to Coconut, extending to Mile 2 and further down to Badagry. Who monitors these environmentally-dangerous activities? It may be easy to look away now, but the resultant effects could be devastating.
A close example was what happened recently in some community in Ogun State, where people have continued to engage in sand excavation. Until the state environment ministry rose to its responsibility to stop the act, the damage was being done to the area, which had started suffering man-made erosion. Of course, it will cost the government a lot in terms of funds to curb further destruction to the area.
Of the many man-induced challenges facing the waterfronts, a step can be taken to stopping and improving the areas if and when the appropriate authorities rise up to their responsibilities.