Stories by Mohammed Kandi with agency reports
The Ajomode Fisherman Association in Ijede, Ikorodu, near Lagos, on Friday appealed to the Lagos state government to save the members from the activities of sand dredgers on the Lagos Lagoon.
A member of the association, Mr. Shamsudeen Jimoh, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the activities of the dredgers had almost ruined the means of livelihood of fishermen in the area.
Jimoh said the dredging had destroyed fishing tools and ponds, polluted the Lagoon and reduced fish stock.
He said the fishing community in Ijede was not consulted before the dredgers commenced their activities, adding that efforts to call the dredgers to order had failed.
“We have also lost millions of naira to the dredgers because an “Agaja” (local pond) yields about N500, 000 every three months. We have more than three ponds in the area destroyed.
“The dredgers should be compelled by the State Government to compensate us so that we can establish our pond elsewhere.”
He said that the dredgers had dredged up to 12 feet in some places, adding that such spots had become potential death traps.
A fisherman, Mr. Matthew Idowu, who has been in the business since the past 20 years, said the situation had become so bad that he could no longer cater for his family of 12.
“Most of us no longer have money to feed our families,” Idowu lamented.