More Lagos Beaches face the risk of being closed following an assessment of the coastal areas, by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Wednesday.

Led by its Assistant Zonal Coordinator for South-West, Tunde Adebiyi, the NEMA team described the exercise as a precautionary measure to prevent another disaster in the state.

Speaking after the assessment at the Oniru Private Beach, Adebiyi stressed the “need for a stakeholders’ meeting to chart a way to mitigate against further loss.”

Such stakeholders, according to the team, would include state and federal government agencies, cabin operators, tourism investors, beach occupiers, and specialists such as oceanographers.

“The round-table will enable us know what needs to be done and to plan ahead, to curb what we have seen,” he said.

Just last weekend, an ocean surge ravaged Kuramo Beach community, majorly shacks, sweeping away 16 persons, with about ten already confirmed dead.

Access to Kuramo Beach has since been cut off with mortar bricks, after the demolition of what was left of the shanties. However, the anguish left in its wake was evident in the narration of the former occupiers of the Beach.

Consequently, many of the displaced occupiers of Kuramo Beach have besieged the adjoining Beach, raising apprehension that the Bar Beach might soon share a similar fate.

A trader, who identified himself as Immanuel, said they would be powerless should the state government render them “homeless also”.

Meanwhile, a press conference initially scheduled for Wednesday by the Kuramo Tourism Investors’ Association was postponed pending a planned closed-door meeting between the association members and the Council Chairperson.

But for many of the displaced residents and traders, the better part of day was spent on the queue to claim their savings from their thrift collector.

A lady on the queue, who wanted anonymity, claimed that the N20,000 she had just been paid was all she had left to start afresh.

“I lost everything; this is all that I have managed to save,” she said.

The Association Secretary, Michael Onwuje, explained that many of the affected persons had been patiently awaiting the day, “being the first working day of the week after the Sallah holiday”.

Onwuje added that the effects of the evacuation exercise at Kuramo Beach would be far-reaching, saying it could lead to the break-up of many families.

“Many people will also be disenfranchised when next there is an election, because we had six polling units there,” he added.

However, investigation showed that many sex workers affected by the displacement have hit the streets of Lagos, in a bid to survive the times.

But a former resident, who claimed to have graduated from the Polytechnic, Ibadan, Ahmed Gafar, urged the government to assist them “with jobs and accommodation”.

“For most of us, it’s not our wish to be here, but the Beach accommodates everyone with no place to stay,” he said. “Since the demolition, I’ve been sleeping out in the cold every night.”

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