Mr Desmond Majekodunmi, an environmentalist, has called on the Federal Government to take urgent measures to remove the carcass of vessels abandoned along the Lekki Beach shore line in Lagos.
Majekodunmi made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
He said the measures became necessary to forestall the hazards that such abandoned vessels could cause in the event of flooding of the shore line during the rainy season.
The environmentalist urged government to take steps to protect the shore line from further infringement.
``The worst health implication is that a shore line that has been protecting a low line swarm area for thousands of years from incursion from the sea has been washed away.
``When the storm comes and the sea would now have nothing to stop them from going to the low line areas, you have thousands of people living in huts and houses and estate in this area and it will just allowed ingress for the ocean to come.
``So the health implication is that people would die when the sea comes in.
``If we have particularly heavy storm and there is no protection of the shoreline, you could have hundreds, you could have thousands, who knows, the protection has been removed.
``And so all we need is just a high tide on a high moon and some strong wind and a bad storm and the sea can just come in.
``The only thing that one can say is that protection is better than cure.’’
Majekodunmi noted that President Goodluck Jonathan had visited the beach in 2011 and directed the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to remove the vessels.
He said that the attention of the Lagos State Government had also been drawn to the issue but nothing so far had been done to address the problem.
``President Jonathan gave the directive in August 2011, calling on NIMASA, the Agency responsible for regulations related to Nigerian shipping, maritime labour and coastal waters to ensure that ship wrecks are removed from the shore lines.
``Despite the order almost a year after, the ship wreck is not only still there, it remains an environmental and health hazard as the beach suffers even more damage as a result of the erosion caused by the irregular movement of the ocean surge.
``If the words of the president are not enough to get a Federal Government agency whose duties it was to undertake inspections and provides search and rescue services to do its job, what then would save Lekki Beach from further damage?
``This is the question stakeholders of Lekki Beach would want an answer to even today.’’
Majekodunmi said that to allow innocent Nigerians, including mothers and children, to die due to negligence could be counter-productive to the objective of the Millennium Development (MDGs.
The visit to the Lekki beach by journalists was part of the on-going training workshop on ‘’On-line- Journalism: Practices and Platforms ’’ organised by Goethe Institute in Lagos.